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THE LIBRARY OF THE 

UNIVERSITY OF 

NORTH CAROLINA 

AT CHAPEL HILL 




THE COLLECTION OF 
NORTH CAROLINIANA 



C286.7 
A24 

2004-2006 
Vol. 52-54 



UNIVERSITY OF N,C AT CHAPEL HILL 

00030746444 

FOR USE ONLY IN 
THE NORTH CAROLINA COLLECTION 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/adventchristianw11adve 




Therefore 




and make disciples 
of all nations... 



Witness 



Volume 52, issue 1 

www.adventchristian.org 

1-800-676-0694 

Editor 
Keith Wheaton 

Contributing Editor 
Tom Warner 

Proofreader 
Kathy Wheaton 

Women s Ministry Editor 
Hazel Blackstone 

Contributing Designer 
Joshua Alves 



Advent Christian 
General Conference 

Hazel Blackstone Women's Ministries Coordinator 

Hdblackst@aol. com 
Julia Brock Missions Secretary 

WorldMissiom@adventchristian.org 

Nancy Brooks Exec. Director Secretary 

ExecDirect@adventchristian. org 

Dwight Carpenter Leadership Development 

A CSMinistries@juno. com 
Shirley Efird Bookkeeper 

Trena Efird Missions Secretary 

WorldMissions@adventchristian.org 
Helen Hagler Printer/Mailroom 

Chet Hart Resource Development 

A CGCdevelopment@aol.com 
Amy Johnson Bookkeeper 

Donna Martin Printer/Mailroom 

Harold Patterson World Missions Director 

WorldMissions@adventchristian.org 
Tina Pressley Venture Bookstore 

Venture@adventchristian. org 
Mary Ritchie Church Relations Secretary 

MaryRitchie@adventchristian.org 
John Roller Urban/Ethnic & Resource Center 

JRoller@adventchristian. org 
Dawn Russell Venture Bookstore 

Venture@adventch ristian. org 
Richard Russell Church Relations Director 

ChurchRelations@adventchristian.org 
Dawn Rutan Information Services 

DRutan@adventchristian. org 
Jim Smith Finance/Services 

Services@adventch ristian. org 
Ron Thomas President 

Rthomas@acvillage. net 
Marshall Tidwell Interim Executive Director 

ExecDirect@adventchristian.org 
Keith Wheaton Publications Coordinator 

Keilh@acgc.us 

Tamra Wussow Student ministries Apprentice 

Wustam@juno. com 



International Missionaries 



Area Directors: 

Scott Dombrosky — Latin 

America/Short-Term Missions 

sdombrosky@comcast. net 

John Gilbert — Team Leader 

jofm(a. 99phis 1 . org 

Frank Jewett — Europe/Africa 

fjewettiamegalink. net 

John Roller — Urban/Ethnic 

jroller@adventchristian.org 

Clio Thomas — Asia/Pacific 

cIiowestva@msn. com 

Honduras 

David Vignali (5/10) 

c/o Teen Missions 

P.O.Box 4094 

San Pedro Sula 

HONDURAS 

tmihondu@inetsys.hn 

Liberia 

Abraham David 

Advent Christian Church 

PO. Box 4669 

Monrovia, LIBERIA 

advent_christian@yahoo.com 

Malaysia 

Victor and Nesamony 

Devadason, 

Beaulah Margreat Devasa- 

hayam 

Al-Shadai Illam 

No. 24 Jalan Pandan 12 

Taman Dato Hormat 42500 

Teluk Panglima Garang 

K. Langat, Selangor 

MALAYSIA 

bethel 3 5 7(aj,hotmaiI. com 

James and Mercy Devadas- 
son 

20 Jalan Intan 4 

Taman Intan 

86000 Kluang, Johor 

MALAYSIA 

adventchristianicv hotmail. 

com 

Ruth Devairakkam 

36 Jalan 14/2 
Taman Sri Kluang 
86000 Kluang. Johor 
MALAYSIA 
nithdevairakkam@ hotmail. 



Philippines 

Jeff and Penny Vann 

(7/14 & 5/12; Elizabeth, 
10/24; Connie, 3/29; 
Naomi, 10/11) 
PO. Box 223 
9000 Cagayan de Oro 
Philippines 
Jej'fvann@ acgc. us 
penny\'ann(a),acgc. us 

Grant Aldridge (7/27) 

P.O. Box 223 

9000 Cagayan de Oro 

Philippines 

aldridge@home.philcom.ph 



National Missionaries 

Memphis 

Francis and Lyne Ssebi- 

kindu 

2175 Carrollwood 
Cordova, TN 38018 
fssehikindu@ worldnet. 
att.net 

Mexico 

Joel and Omega Garcia 

(La Purisima) 

c/o John Gilbert 

P.O. Box 9019 SF 168 

Calexico,CA 92231-9019 

Johnfti 99plusl.org 

Juan "Martin" Camacho 
Valdez 

c/o John Gilbert 
PO. Box 9019 
Calcxico,CA 9223 1-9019 

Miguel and Maria Mena 

c/o John Gilbert 
PO. Box 9019 SF 168 
Calcxico,CA 9223 1-90 19 

China 

All correspondence should 
be channeled through the 
missions office. 



India 

Earl and Martha Wright 

(4/16 & 10/17) 
PO. Box 3164 
Guindy Chennai 600 032 
wright@md3. vsni. net. in 

Ernie Schache (1/29) 

PO. Box 3 164 

Guindy Chennai 600 032 

INDIA 

ernieschacheCai.vsnl.net 



Ghana 
Simon Bissah 

A.C.C. 

PO. Box 604 

Nsawam, Eastern Region 

Ghana 

simbissah@yahoo. com 

Namibia 

Moses Angbongy 

PO. Box 25473 

Soweto 

Windhoek, NAMIBIA 

blessedhope62@hotmail. 

com 

New Zealand 
David Burge 

12 Bettina Place. 

Manurcwa 

Auckland. NEW ZEALAND 

dhurge(ii),slingshot. co. nz 

Nigeria 

E. H. Ekperikpe 

Ukot UdoabiaPA. 
Etinan L.G.A. 
Akwa Ibom State 
NIGERIA 

ekperiesima(a yahoo.com 

South Africa 
Nathan Fernando 

14 Dick Muller Drive 
NorkemPark 1620 
S.AFRICA 2028 

nathankficvexcite.org 



Croatia 
Desire Ahola 

PO. Box 29 
com Nova Gradiska 

35400 CROATIA 

ahola. desire@sb. hi net. hr 
.Ulwiii Chri.siiaii Wlliw.ss (ISSN #0741-4302) is published bimonthly by the Advent Christian General Conference of 
America. 1 460 1 Albemarle Rd.. P.O. Bo.\ 23 1 52, Charlotte, NC 28227. Subscription rates in the United States and Canada; 
One year $13.00. Single copy S2.25. Overseas rate, one year $14.00. Periodicals postage paid at Charlotte, NC. and ad- 
ditional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Advent Christian Witness, ?.0. Box 23152, Charlotte, 
NC 28227. Printed in Canada. 

As the official publication of the Advent Christian General Conference, the Advent Christian Witness publishes the 
teachings of the Advent Christian Church and proinotes the task of disciple-making both in North America and around 
the world. The views expressed in this magazine are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those of the editor 
or the Advent Christian General Conference. Member; Evangelical Press Association. Copyright €< 2003 by the Advent 
Christian General Conference of America, Inc. 



From the Editor 




The letter was polite but unequivocal. The church was asking 
to be removed from all of our mailing lists. Since unanimously 
voting to change its name and disassociate from Advent Chris- 
tian General Conference, it no longer wished to receive the 
Advent Christian News, the Advent Christian Witness or any 
other material from our denomination. According to the letter, 
this church made its decision for theological reasons, stating, 
"... the benefits of being a non-creedal denomination with 
autonomous churches do not outweigh the costs of allowing 
heretical teaching." 

I am both saddened and angry by this decision. It hurts to be 
rejected. This church has given us the equivalent of a letter of 
divorce. We are somehow lacking, we don't measure up, we 
have "irreconcilable differences." Never mind that we have — 
according to their letter — 112 years of shared history. Never 
mind that we have given and received comfort and support to 
each other for more than a century. Somehow, recent develop- 
ments have rendered our past relationship irrelevant. That cuts 
pretty deep. 

It also makes me mad to find members of a democratic or- 
ganization complaining about it and abandoning it instead of 
accepting their responsibility to change it. That's kind of like 
divorcing the mother of your children because the kids are un- 
ruly! The letter states, "... it is long past time for the Advent 
Christian General Conference to officially embrace the truth..." 
including ". . .better defining in the Declaration of Principles. . ." 
Who do they think is going to make these changes? ME? 
NEWSFLASH: I AM AN EMPLOYEE OF A CONGREGA- 
TIONALLY RUN ORGANIZATION. I DON'T THINK I CAN 
EVEN VOTE AT A DELEGATE MEETING. THE ONLY 
WAY ANY CHANGE IN THE DECLARATION OF PRIN- 
CIPLES WILL OCCUR IS WHEN AN ADVENT CHRIS- 
TIAN CHURCH APPOINTS AND SENDS DELEGATES TO 
INTRODUCE AND VOTE FOR A CHANGE! 

(Continued on page 19) 



Contents 



Singing with Elvis in a Karaol^e Bar 4 

Jason Hudson 

One Sunday IVIorning I Skipped 

Church 10 

Rev. Clayton Blackstone 



Willing to Go 

Rev. Dwight Dean 



13 



Reviewing "The Passion of The Christ" 16 

Dr. Thomas S. Warren, II 

The Lord Change Oil into Water 20 

Ray Cobb 

WH & FMS: The State of Our Union 22 

WH & FMS President Randee Davis 



A Word From Our President 

Rev. Ron Thomas, Jr. 

Twisted Scriptures 

Rev. Tom Warner 

As Children 

Dawn Russell 



24 



25 



26 



ins 

Elvis 




#^ 



^ 



\J 



^^^^^ 






you from Seattle," I asked the wom- 
^an sitting next to me on the plane. 
' "No, I'm from St. Louis. I came 
out West to see my granddaughter. She's a performer at 
the Muckleshoot Indian Casino. Have you been there?" 

My desire for visiting a casino was probably no greater 
than a card shark wanting to attend my church. Never- 
theless, all I heard the entire flight to Chicago was how I 
needed to see her granddaughter perform the moment I re- 
turned home, and how great it would be if I could become 
her friend, and how much I would love the show. On and 
on she went. 



The show consisted of singers impersonating famous 
legends from the past and present. This woman's grand- 
daughter was a backup singer, and from what I gathered 



during her three-hour persuasion speech, she was a good one. 



"This can't hurt," 
I reasoned. 
"It's a free show, 
I'm not spend- 
ing money on 
slots, and no one 
here knows I'm 
the pastor of a 
church." 



As we disembarked, I promised this relentless woman that 1 would do my 
best to attend the show and meet her granddaughter. This put a big smile 
on her face, and we said our goodbyes. 

After returning from my trip, I still had no desire to travel the hour it 
would take to see the show. Two weeks passed, and I had forgotten all 
about my promise. However, one Wednesday night, my evening plans fell 
through. 1 found myself completely void of distractions. From out of no- 
where, an urge came to visit the casino and see the show. The events that 
follow lead me to believe it was Christ prompting me. 

None of my friends were able to go with me, so 1 traveled alone. As the 
security guard checked my ID at the doorway to the casino, I stared into a 
world I had never seen. Erie sounds from electronic slot machines filled 
the large gambling rooms, interrupted only by the rare shouts of joy from 
fortunate winners. I peered over the shoulders of those holding cards and 
rolling dice, understanding nothing of what I saw. I was in a new culture. 

1 made my way to the theater where the show was about to begin. "This 




Jason Hudson is pas- 
tor of Church on the 
Hill (AC) in Seattle, 
Wash. His interests 
include Katie (his 
new wife), studying 
Scripture, basketball, 
coffee and, of course, 
karaoke! 



can't hurt," I reasoned. "It's a free show, I'm not spending money on 
slots, and no one here knows I'm the pastor of a church." 

Soon the band began to play, and out came Shania Twain, or at least the 
woman posing as her. If the announcer hadn't told us, 1 would have be- 
lieved it was really her. Two backup singers flanked her, and 1 immediate- 
ly spotted the woman's granddaughter from the description I'd been given. 
1 relaxed and enjoyed not only Shania Twain, but amazing perfonnances 
by James Brown and Elvis Presley as well. 

Following the show, I knew I had to at least say hello to the girl. I tracked 
her down outside the backstage doors. She was elated by my attendance 
because her grandmother had told her all about me. She rounded up some 
others, and we all went to the buffet to chat over dinner. After exchanging 
phone numbers, they told me to come again to hang out. 

Two days later, I found something urging me to do just that: see the show 
and hang out. I grabbed a couple friends and dragged them along to the 
casino. It was even more entertaining the second time, and we met up 
with the performers afterwards. On this night they were going out to cel- 
ebrate one of their birthdays, and they invited us to join them at the local 
karaoke bar. We agreed and met them there. 

We entered the bar to find amateur singers belting out their favorite tunes, 
their eyes glued to the television monitor as the lyrics scrolled by. Beer 
flowed like the Jordan River, the smoke lingered as thick as that over 
Mount Sinai, and applause for the brave soloists was as generous as manna 
from Heaven. 



"The expres- 
sions on their 
faces are 
from the bad 
taste of light 
beer," 

I desperately 
tried to en- 
courage my- 
self. 



I soon found myself being urged by the others to take up the microphone. 
"Come on. . .you'll do great! There has to be a song you know well 
enough to sing," they prodded. This was nothing I had ever done before, 
especially in front of professional impersonators. 

"What could it hurt?" I thought, and in no time 1 found my voice assault- 
ing the ears of onlookers with "Pretty Woman." Their faces had the look 
of people politely attempting to swallow a disastrous potluck casserole. 
"The expressions on their faces are from the bad taste of light beer," 1 des- 
perately tried to encourage myself 

Receiving a weak handclap I returned to my seat. As I sat on my stool, 
I looked around at the others. Here I was with my two friends, the two 
backup singers, Elvis, and his girlfriend. No one was going to believe that 
I was with Elvis at a karaoke bar. Could it get any better? 

It wasn't until the car ride home that I learned of a dialogue that occurred 
at the table while I was bleating my solo. My friend, Chris, recalled the 
conversation: 



"Is Jason 
really a 
pastor?" 
asked Elvis. 



"Is Jason really a pastor?" asked Elvis. 
"Well, yeah. He's my pastor," answered Chris. 

"Why would 

OeOOle like VOU Elvis shook his head, "Noway!" 

rlSriQ out Wltrl "No, he can't be," added his girlfriend. "Why would people like you hang out 

DPOnlP likP IJ^ with people like us in a place like this? That's hard to believe!" 

in 3 pl3CG IIKG Chris assured them it was true. "You know, the Bible says that Jesus went to 

this'^ That's the very same places. Maybe there wasn't Karaoke, but He was constantly out 

among the people to show them who He was. He was our example, and we 
hard to be- try to do the same " 

lieve!" 

That conversation led to a month-long string of visits to both the casino and 
the bar, during which Elvis and I became close friends. On one occasion in 
his hotel room, he even let me put on his jumpsuit and lip-sync the song "Poke 
Salad Annie." To end the shows, he would have the crowd participate during 
the final song. While the chorus played, we were supposed to stand and sing 
along. One night while introducing the song, he asked, "What's your name," 
and put the microphone to my lips. 

Startled, I replied, "Uh, Jason." 

"And what do you do for a living?" 

"I'm a pastor." The crowd burst into laughter. 

"So what you're sayin' is that you're used to leading the flock," he asked with 
the patent quiver in his upper lip. 

"Yep." 

"Well, tonight. Pastor Jason, this is your flock." 

Pointing to the crowd he added, "and you are to follow his lead as he stands 
and sings during the chorus." The audience exploded with cheers. 

Over the remaining nights at the casino, I pastored those sheep during that 
song the best I could. However, God intended for my care to go beyond my 
participation in the show. From then on I was known as "Pastor Jason" in the 
casino. Strangers in the building were continuously coming to me for prayer. 
Many would spill their tragic life stories. Time after time we would stop to 
ask God for healing and direction in their lives. 

Conversation at the buffet began to center around Jesus, and we would answer 
their questions about Christianity for hours. Others came to hear me preach at 



church, including Neil Diamond, who ended up running our soundboard that week. My own karaoke career 
improved, and the manager of the bar even offered to sponsor a church function sometime. 

We made many friends and, because of a sweet grandmother on my flight to Chicago, we were sowing seeds 
for the Kingdom of God in a culture not our own. 

Scripture informs us that Jesus sang hymns with His disciples. Elvis also sang hymns, but 1 believe had 
Jesus been in Seattle, the King would have been singin' with Elvis in a karaoke bar.'fr 




imsm 




One 

Sunday Morning I 

Skipped 



10 



Church 



Clayton Blackstone 



Milhpost: John 17:3 

"That is his call to us- simply to be people who are content to live 
close to him and to renew the kind of life in which the closeness is 
felt and experienced." 

— Thomas Merton in his last public address before his death 

A father and son invaded my space on a quiet Sunday morning 
in Franklin, TN. On this particular quiet Sunday in May, I had 
decided to do what many of my friends do when visiting a 
strange city where no one knows their names - skip church. 

Although a tornado blew through during the night interrupting 
the rest we anticipated from our mini-vacation, sleep eluded 
me about dawn. So while Hazel slept, I slipped out of the 
room and headed towards the pool area far removed from 
the guests who sipped coffee and munched Sara Lee apple or 
cheese danish. There 1 pondered a section of Scripture now 
long forgotten and prayed while staring through the glass 
walls at flowering shrubs that served as a feast for the eyes to a 
Mainer ravenous for sights of Spring. 

That's when the father and son invaded my space. 

I did my best to ignore them. I didn't want to close my eyes 
to the display of Spring that was refreshing my spirit as God 
and I spoke. However, If I wanted to continue to pray, the 
interruption gave me little choice. But the sound of movement 
in the water distracted me. (It doesn't take much to distract 
me when I pray.) I abandoned my attempts at this spiritual 
discipline and began watching. 

As the young father played with his six-month old son in the 
pool, i wondered at first if he was providing his wife with an 




^m^.^i 



hour of respite to pamper herself on Mother's 
Day. Then the unusual character of this father- 
son playtime drew me deeper. There was no 
rough-housing. No loud noises. No sudden 
movements. If Dad spoke, he spoke in whispers 
as his eyes shouted love. On a leisurely Sunday 
morning in Franklin, TN, I watched a Dad 
delight in his son. 

Most of the time, the child laid one arm around 
his father's neck, never taking his eyes off the 
man who held him. Sometimes Dad hid his 
own head under water while carefully holding 
his son's above the surface. The little one never 
cried in alarm or whimpered in fear. 

I sat. Stared. Pondered. Sensed a wave of 
gratitude for this peek into my heavenly Father's 
delight in me. 

Later, I recalled a Frederick Buechner quote buried 

in my files: 

"We all want to be certain, we all want proof, 
but the kind of proof that we tend to want — 
scientifically or philosophically demonstrable 
proof that would silence all doubts once and 
for all — would not, in the long run, I think, 
answer the fearful depths of our need at all. 
For what we need to know, of course, is not 
just that God exists, not just that beyond the 
steely brightness of the stars there is a cosmic 
intelligence of some kind to keep the whole 
show going, but that there is a God right there 



in the thick of our day-to-day lives who may 
not be writing messages about himself in the 
stars but who in one way or another is trying 
to get messages through our blindness as we 
move down here knee-deep in the fragrant 
muck and misery and marvel of the world. It is 
not objective proof of God's existence that we 
want, but whether we use religious language 
for it or not, the experience of God's presence. 
That is the miracle we are really after. " 

The miracle of the experience of God's presence. 
The miracle I pined for on the quiet Sunday morning 
I skipped church. The miracle I experienced when 
a father and son invaded my space. 

Later, as the dad toweled off his son, he spoke. 
'T work at a job 1 could easily give twelve 
hours a day to. I must remind myself to attend 
to what's most important." And then they were 
gone to a wife and mom and who knows where, 
leaving me to my thoughts. 

1 reminisced about my work habits and attending 
to what's most important, especially as my kids 
grew. Those thoughts gave way to thoughts 
about the spiritual driven-ness that haunts 
many of us as followers of Jesus. 
The "Christian Service" and 
"Missions" sections of one of 
the hymnals shelved in my 
study contains sixty hymns 




and spiritual songs of the work that needs 
to be done before the night comes. One of 
them boldly promises that we will "work till 
Jesus comes." And remember the admonition 
that "only one life, 'twill soon be past, only 
what's done for Christ will last." 

We see our spiritual work mostly in terms of 
doing. Doing evangelism. Doing discipleship. 
Doing youth ministry. Doing leadership 
development. We've adopted the notion 
that if we build bigger and better programs, 
people will come. Over the years I've honed 
my skills as a "Contractor for Jesus." More 
than once I've salivated at 
the prospect of some multi- 
talented couple settling in 
and offering their collective 
energy for a "ministry" 
project close to my heart. 



sanguine stance toward life. It is a fierce 
longing for God, an unyielding resolve to live 
in and out of the truth of our belovedness. " 

Several years ago while working through a 
Lenten series on the garden prayer of Jesus, the 
Spirit initiated what has become an ongoing 
dialogue with me about the twist Jesus gave to 
the subject of eternal life. I've kept most of my 
ruminations to myself. But on a quiet Sunday 
morning in Franklin, TN, a father and son spoke 
its reality deep into my soul. "Now this is eternal 
life: that they may know you, the only true God and 
Jesus Christ, whom you have sent" (John 17:3). 



On my 

best days, 
I try. 



But on a quiet Sunday 
morning ripe for church 
skipping, God used a dad and his six-month- 
old son to preach the finest sermon I've heard 
in years. He spoke deep in my soul through 
them. The divine voice didn't crack the 
glass windows that shielded the pool from 
the elements. The pen I held in my hand 
didn't take to writing on its own. It was one 
of those "still, small voice" moments when 
I knew that I knew that I knew that it was 
God. "When was the last time we played in 
the pool like that?" the Voice asked. "When 
was the last time you looked into my eyes 
and felt my delight in you?" [The answer to 
that would probably be never because the 
idea of God delighting in me remains more 
theoretical knowledge than experiential 
reality.] 

Brennan Manning put it this way: 

"The essential energy of the soul is not 
an ecstatic trance, high emotion or a 



The question forming in my brain 
as I ponder the application of this 
living sermon goes like this: "If the 
business of eternity is the delight of 
a relationship with the Father and 
the culmination of what we are bom 
for, then our work is not so much 
accomplishing tasks as attending to 



the Father." 

On my best days, I try. But most of the time, 
the organizational side of ministry distracts me. 
Eugene Peterson deserves a rousing "Amen" for 
his declaration that "the biggest enemy of the 
Church is the development and proliferation of 
programs to meet people's needs. Everyone has 
a hunger for God, but our tastes are screwed up. 
We've been raised on junk food so that what we 
ask for is often wrong and twisted." Although I 
think that he's right, old paradigms linger. 

This afternoon, I closed my Franklin Planner and 
walked away from the phone and computer to 
a place of retreat behind a cluster of spruce, fir 
and pine on our congregation's "back 40." I felt 
guilty taking time out of a busy day to play with 
my Father in the pool. Then I remember that at 2 
p.m. on a Tuesday afternoon, I was tasting eternal 
life. 
Sweet! 1^ 



12 



Willing 




By Dwight S. Dean 



As Barb and I stood in line with David at the Portland International Jetport our emotions were ready 
to be released in a flood of tears. They would not be tears of sorrow but rather tears of joy mixed 
with tears of uncertainty. We were preparing to say goodbye for a year, and we all knew much 
could change in the next year. How had we come to this point? Was this an experience all families had? 
We knew it was not. Still, these moments standing in the screening line of the airport allowed me to reflect 
on 22 years of life God had given us with David. 

I thought back to that newborn, with a full head of dark hair, we had brought home from the hospital in Lake 
City, Fla., on March 15, 1981. I remembered how life had changed when we brought home our second son. 
Barb had stopped working to be home with the boys and they had become a source of never-ending excite- 
ment as we watched them grow. What a thrill it was when his grandfather. Dr. David A. Dean, was able to 
dedicate him, and us, to the Lord. 

I remembered being called from a meeting when David was 14 months old to learn he was being treated for 
over 1 50 fire ant bites he had sustained when he sat in a fire ant hill in our yard to play trucks. God's grace 
and an informed medical staff at the Advent Christian Village saw him through. 

When we lived in Tampa, I was privileged to baptize David in 1989 in witness to the fact that he had made 
the decision to accept Jesus as his Savior and Lord. It was as David began to attend public school we no- 
ticed he seemed to make friends easily with students of different ethnic backgrounds, and they were often 
guests in our home and at David's birthday parties. We always enjoyed watching David's contagious smile 
and listening to his quick wit as he joked with his siblings, relatives and friends. 



13 



When we moved to Dover, N.H., we realized that 
David was a gifted reader and writer who won 
several awards and recognitions for his accomplish- 
ments. We had no youth group in our church so 
David and his brothers attended the Baptist Church's 
Boys Brigade on Wednesday nights. David's leader, 
Paul Perry, told us he wanted to work with David as 
he saw in him a future leader. How pleased we were 
to hear that. David enjoyed summer camp and at- 
tended camps at Mechanic Falls and Camp Washing- 
ton where he met Kent Davis who challenged David 
to serve the Lord wherever He led him. When we 
moved back to Dowling Park, Fla., in 1994 we saw 
that David did have real leadership potential and was 
continuing to mature as a disciple of Jesus. In 1997 
we moved to Friendship, Maine, and watched David 
conclude his high school years with outstanding 
scholastic achievement. He also showed continu- 
ing spiritual growth under the guidance of his youth 
pastor, Mike 
Poli. He was a 
regular attendee 
at Sports and 
Music Camp 
at Alton Bay 
and he began 
to minister as 
a counselor at 
Camp Lakeside. 



I began to pray but with the words 
came the tears. Boy, did the floodgates 
open as we called upon the Lord to 
continue to lead and protect David... 



During his senior year and following his graduation 
from high school he worked at MBNA and learned 
many important lessons about the work place. Barb 
and I wanted to prepare David, as we had his older 
brother, to attend a secular university so we sent 
him to The Summit in Manitou Springs, CO for a 
two-week Christian leadership camp. This camp, 
headed by Dr. David Noebel, is designed to prepare 
students to defend their Christian world-view on a 
hostile secular university campus. What a blessing 
to have David be able to attend The Summit and be 
grounded in his faith. 

In August of 1999 we made the trip to North Caroli- 
na where David entered UNC Chapel Hill as a fresh- 
man. He became involved with Campus Crusade 
for Christ from the very beginning, participating in 



their weekly campus Bible Studies. He also found a 
wonderful Bible-believing church and committed to 
attending it regularly. Eventually this church would 
provide him with a mentor, an important piece in 
David's spiritual growth. 

Following his sophomore year, David went on a 
six-week summer mission trip to East Asia with 
Campus Crusade. That experience changed his life 
and aroused in him a heart to serve. His next two 
spring breaks would take him to Detroit and Dallas 
to do inner city ministry, also with Campus Crusade. 
After his junior year, David served as an assistant 
director at Camp Vesper Point, a large church camp 
outside Chattanooga, TN. That summer found David 
growing in his ministry gifts. 

His senior year at UNC saw David co-leading a 
weekly campus Bible study for Campus Crusade, 

serving as an 
RA in one of 
the dorms, 
working with 
the youth at 
a Chinese- 
American 
church on 
Sunday after- 
noons and sensing God's call to do something more. 
In the spring of 2003, David was accepted by Cam- 
pus Crusade to go on STINT, their one-year short 
-term international missions experience. His team's 
task would be to open up a new campus ministry in 
East Asia. While his mother and I were excited, the 
task of raising $27,000 in the three months follow- 
ing his graduation and before leaving seemed quite 
fonnidable. How much we needed to grow in our 
own faith! David never wavered in his! 

Now we were standing in line preparing to see 
David off for a year in East Asia. He was to fly to 
L.A. for a week of training and then on to an un- 
named country in East Asia, a country that is of- 
ficially closed to the gospel. Like his grandparents 
(David and Dorothy Dean) who had gone to India in 
their retirement, like his uncle and aunt (David and 
Melody Dean) who had been Advent Christian mis- 



14 



sionaries to the Philippines, like his younger brother 
(Joshua) who had gone to Mexico for five months to 
learn the language and culture and to serve, David 
was now about to say goodbye to his family and fol- 
low the Lord's leading. 

After taking a picture we all gathered close to pray. 
I began to pray but with the words came the tears. 
Boy, did the floodgates open as we called upon the 
Lord to continue to lead and protect David as He had 
for the past 22 years. As he went through security, 
we watched him as he explained to the guard he was 
headed to L.A. and then on to East Asia for a year. 
The words of Jesus came to our minds, "Therefore, 
go and make disciples of all nations...'' How won- 
derful to see our son so willing to go. And how 
thankful we are for all those who helped make David 
a disciple of our Lordl'i^ 

Rev. Dwight Dean is pastor of the Friendship Advent 
Christian Church in Friendship, Maine. 




One of our church members said something the other night 
that made me realize just how important this movie could 
be. She said that there would be many nominal Christians 
and even spiritually lost people who would be not only 
viewing this movie, but the name of Jesus and the words 
of the Scriptures would be passing through their minds and 
lips as they read the captions throughout the movie. That 
was a truly remarkable thought. People all over the world 
would be hearing the Word of God and seeing it portrayed 
over the screen for perhaps the first time in their entire 
lives. WOW! 

I was also excited about how this movie was used to 
bring the local church together. It was exciting to see our 
people come to the mall two to three hours in advance to 
eat together and prepare for seeing the movie. One of our 
members had not been to the movie theater in over 35 
years. Again, WOW! To see many of our church attend 
this movie was truly a blessing and then to hear, or should 
I say, "see" the reaction of our people to the movie was 
powerful. After the movie was over, one of our men could 
only mutter the following words to me, "Wow, Jesus really 
loved us, didn 't He?" 

The love of Christ is so evident in this movie. One of the 
people who attended the movie asked the appropriate ques- 
tion after seeing the unbelievable amount of punishment and 
pain Christ was subjected to on our behalf when he said, 
"Why would God allow that to happen to his Son for us? " 
The answer is revealed in the most familiar Bible verse of 
all time, "For God so loved the world... " (John 3:16). 



sensed God saying to me that He loved me enough to give 
up his Son for me to prove it. I couldn't help but think as I 
viewed the movie, "If God would give me this and I would 
say that I loved him haek, what will I give to prove that I 
love Him? " Throughout the movie I considered the Passion 
of my Lord, and wondered where my passion was? What 
is it about my life that proves I love him? How far would 
1 go to make sure everyone knows my love for the Lord is 
real? In the process, I asked myself. "Do I have a passion 
for 'The Christ'?" 

It's one thing to watch a movie and be emotionally, even 
spiritually, moved. It's quite another to be resolved in one's 
innermost being to live his or her life to the fullest for Him. 
This movie has motivated me to live my life more fully for 
Christ, and I want this for you as well. Years ago, Francis 
Schaeffer wrote a book with the following title, "How, Then, 
Should We Live? " After watching this movie, I am moved 
to revisit the heart of this question in my own life. After 
knowing and seeing the love of God for us visibly presented 
in the movie, "How, Then Should We Live? " 

It is my conviction that we should live differently and 
more passionately about that which has changed our lives. 
I want to be passionate about the things of Christ and am 
determined to live that way. I hope you do too! Perhaps 
you should revisit your own approach to living for Christ. 
Maybe you too should ask, "Do I have a passion for 'The 
Christ'?" I hope so!* 



It's one thing to hear people say that God loves you but 
quite another to see a visible expression of what Christ went 
through to prove it. At one point in the movie, as Jesus is 
making his way to the Cross, his mother, Mary, comes to 
him. Obviously, she wishes like any mother that she could 
take this pain away. However, Jesus' response reaffinns 
why he must keep going, even to the point of dying 
on the cross. Jesus told Mary, "...behold, 
I make all things new. " 



Images of Christ that have been 
presented down through the years 
flooded my mind as I watched the 
movie. Many of the portrayals of 
Christ over the years have, in my 
mind, fallen far short of the one 
given by The Passion. Jesus was both 
tender and tough. He was patient, yet 
powerfully motivated towards the goal of 
the cross. Jesus was, in a word, real. 



In the midst of all that was being shown on the 

screen, one thought kept flooding my mind as I watched. I 



Dr Thomas "Sam" Warren is pastor of West Jacksonville 
Advent Christian Church in Florida and also serves as 
recording secretary of the executive council of Advent 
Christian General Conference. 




18 



(editorial continued) 

(By the way, in its letter of disassociation, the church acknowledged the fact that Advent Christian General Conference was a 
member of the National Association of Evangelicals, an organization that represents 22 million Evangelical Christians in 52 de- 
nominations. See the inset box for the NAE statement of faith). 

I know it can be frustrating and time-consuming to work for the improvement of an organization. On the other hand, if one sin- 
cerely believes change needs to take place. Christian charity compels us to make the effort. Many a wife or husband endures years 
of frustration as they encourage a spouse to abandon destructive behaviors. Holy matrimony demands it. And often the fruit of 
their commitment is the salvation of their partner. Is the combined work of more than 300 Advent Christian congregations worthy 
of less commitment? Aren't the beneiits of a shared heritage and lifelong partnership worth the effort? Don't the advantages of 
churches sharing one another's burdens and needs and joys outweigh the appeal of a denominational divorce? 



::(c*:t:***^ 



:******:( 



The phone call from my doctor was brief and unexpected: "Keith, you need to go to the hospital immediately." Earlier in the week 
I experienced a brief loss of vision and the doctor ordered an MRI. The results showed a carotid artery dissection — a tear in the 
inner wall of my carotid artery. My temporary blindness was the symptom of a mini-stroke caused by a clot from this tear. Even 
as 1 dismissed the doctor's instructions as an overreaction, the Karmon Norris prayer circle was sounding the alami. Who knows 
how many prayers were offered on my behalf — even as 1 was rejecting the idea that my life was in danger? 

After two days in the hospital taking a blood thinner intravenously, 1 convinced the doctors to let me go home and give myself 
the necessary injections. Barely unpacked, 1 began to search the Internet for anything I could find under "carotid artery dissec- 
tion." There wasn't much to be found, but the information I could find was sufficiently scary. Seventy-five percent of people with 
a carotid artery dissection die. The survivors usually suffer from some debilitation caused by a stroke. The neurologist I visited 
confirmed the gravity of the problem with his opening words, "I'm surprised to see you standing. After reading your chart I fully 
expected to see someone paralyzed." 

During the subsequent weeks the realization that I beat the odds became increasingly clear. Exactly one month after my mini- 
stroke, a Tucson High School basketball player was paralyzed with a carotid artery dissection after being tackled by cheering fans. 
He had finished a winning game with a slam-dunk. Now, he cannot move his right side and is in speech therapy. Even he is lucky, 
compared with the typical victim. Actor John Rittcr's sudden death from a similar problem illustrates the usual outcome. Com- 
pared to both of them, my regimen of daily blood thinners and six months of reduced activity seems pretty mild. 



You may be asking yourself, "What does Keith's health problem 
have to do with a church leaving the denomination?" It's actually 
quite simple: when the neurologist commented about my remark- 
ably good condition, I informed him that I had people all around 
the world praying for me. 1 repeated this explanation to my regular 
doctor. In fact, I've said this to most of the people who ask about 
my condition. But, if I were a member of the church mentioned 
above, I couldn't make this claim. And I doubt I'd be in the same 
shape. 

I've always believed that prayer makes a difference, that it helps... 
other people. For the first time in my life I know what it is like to 
be the subject of a multitude of other people's prayers. And I be- 
lieve that is why I could stand up and shake my neurologist's hand. 
Only by being part of my denomination could I enjoy the benefits 
of being prayed for by complete strangers miles away. In fact, some 
of these people were praying for me while I was still ignorant of the 
danger. 

When Jesus returns we'll find out how much difference a prayer 
makes. We'll see how someone in Washington state could help 
someone in North Carolina by remembering his need and mention- 
ing his name to the Lord above. While organized prayer may seem 
a small reason for remaining associated with other churches today, 
that Day may reveal it's the most important. I'm convinced it's the 
reason I'm still writing this column. And I wholeheartedly mean it 
when I say, "Thanks for the prayers!'"!}' 



NAE Statement Of Faith 

• We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infal- 
lible, authoritative Word of God. 

• We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in 
three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 

• We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His 
virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vi- 
carious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His 
bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of 
the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory. 

• We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful 
people, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely es- 
sential. 

• We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by 
whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly 
life. 

• We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the 
lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and 
they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation. 

• We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our 
Lord Jesus Christ. 



19 



Ray Cobb, represents the Eastern Regional As- 
sociation on the Executive Council of Advent ' 
Christian General Conference. He attends church 
at Attleboro AC Church in Massachusetts. Pic- 
tured is one of the oil-contaminated wells, shown 
with clear water and no trace of pollution. 




The Lord changed Qli-, 

into Wfxttrl 

By Ray Cobb 

In November of 1995, at a commercial rental property that I own, more than one-hundred gallons of heating oil leaked under the 
cement iloor in the basement. The oil company had put 100 gallons in the tank the first part of November but when my tenant 
put the heat on they found the oil tank was empty. The Department of Environmental Protection got involved and I had to hire an 
engineering company to clean up the spill. You're given one year to clean the spill and if it is not cleaned up to specification then 
your deed is not clean either. The original estimate to clean the spill was more than $40,000, and insurance does not cover this. 1 
heard about similar cleanups costing $150,000 and up. I had to turn over everything to the Lord and he gave me the overwhelm- 
ing sense that he was in this somehow. 

The oil recovery began by digging down to the water table about four feet below the surface of the floor. The oil, which was 
about 3/8" thick, was floating on top of the water. It was bright red in color. A 15-inch pipe was inserted into the hole making a 
well on which to float a passive skimmer, which would skim off the oil over time. We then had a lot of rain and the water table 
rose about 18 inches. A vent system was also installed which consisted of six probes that went into the soil, which were hooked 
up to a vacuum pump and vented to the outside. That was designed to clean the soil over time. Instrument readings on the vent 
system started at 1 1 parts per million. Much to the surprise of the engineers, within two months it was down into the "one" range. 
Five would have been good! 1 was there when the man checked the readings, and was he scratching his head! 

Several months later the owner of the engineering company called and said that he wanted to finish the project but he had a prob- 
lem. He said, "We can't find the oil." I replied, "Well if you can't find where the oil is, I probably know were it went." He was 
very curious. I asked him if he was interested in spiritual things. I then told him that soon after they found the oil on top of the 
water I prayed, "Lord, I know that you changed water into wine one time and I know that you can change oil into water. And you 
said to ask what we will and you would give it to us, so I ask you to change the oil into water in Jesus' name, amen." He chuck- 
led and said why didn't you ask Him to change it into wine?" 1 said, "Because I'm not a drinker!" After a long silence he said, 
"Oh no, what am I going to put into the report to the state?" He said that further testing had to be done to detenninc if the oil had 
moved. So three test wells were drilled around the building so that soil and water samples could be taken and also to detenninc 
which way the water ran underground. All tests came back well within acceptable levels. This proved that the oil hadn't moved. 
They also couldn't figure out why, but the main well at the spill site was the cleanest in the water tests. 

Praise the One True God! He answers prayer directed to him. His grace is so undeserved and marvelous to me. The engineering 
company even said that they have no other explanation for this except that a miracle took place. I have a final report which they 
told me could be used in a court of law to prove this case. 

If anyone has oil heat, check for leaks; it could be costly. This cost me about $20,000 out of pocket. As the bills came in, though, 
we were able to pay them. My wife and I have always given a tithe and more and knew that He would supply. He says in Mai. 
3:11 that," "1 will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit," says the Lord 
Almighty." 

Turning fuel oil into water was a miracle of the Lord and 1 praise Him for it, but the greatest miracle I've experienced was when 
Jesus came into my heart personally and saved me 40 years ago. As I confessed my sin to Jesus and trusted Him as my Savior, a 
whole new life opened up for me. When I realized that my sins were forgiven and atoned for at the cross of Calvary- Wow! The 
"death" that I had earned for being a sinner was completely paid for by Jesus when he suffered and died. For the first time in my 
life I was free from the "wages of sin" because he gave me the gift of eternal life. As a result of my salvation I want to live for 
Him, as he has prepared good things for me to do. He has worked in my life so many times over the years, even turning oil into 
water by his grace! Ij' 



21 



v\ 



State 








President Randee Davis examines the WHFMS organization 
to evaluate how it is doing in carrying out the Great 
Commission. She looks at who we are as an organization, 
where we came from, and where we are headed. Randee 
asks the tough question, "Will it involve change in the 
organization to advance the Kingdom? " 



For a little over a year it has been my pleasure to 
serve as president of the National WHFMS. My 
association with this group began when I was a child 
growing up in First Church in Lenoir, NC. I started 



22 



i« 



,.-rvv^- 






^je.-^ 



yt-^ 



learning about our missionaries 
in what was then called 
MiLows. I remember 
one Sunday 
morning Barbara 
Deverick called us 
to the front of the 
church for a lesson on 
missions. She had a 
shoebox for the object 
lesson and told us that S^ 

she had a live missionary 
in it. Each of us got to 
look inside the box and see 
the missionary. Inside the 
box was a mirror and looking back at me 
was my own reflection. I learned early that 
I was a missionary with a responsibility as 
a child of the King to tell others about Him. 
Later, I joined YWA. It was about this same 
time that evangelist Julius Parker came 
to preach a revival at our church. During 
that revival in 1960 the Holy Spirit spoke 
to me and I asked Jesus into my heart. Fll 
never forget that night or the lessons that 
I learned as a young woman in YWA. I 
was fortunate to have been a part of the 
Girl Scouts where I learned to always "be 
prepared", the 4-H Club where I learned 
to "make the best better", and the YWA 
where I learned to "love to tell the story". 
Years later I graduated from the Young 
Women's Auxiliary and joined the YOMAR 
Missionary Circle of the WHFMS. I am 
very proud to have been a member for over 
37 years. 

One of the best things about being WHFMS 
president is that I get to go places, share 
my testimony and talk about what the Lord 
has done in my life. I get to challenge and 
inform Advent Christian women that Christ 



-^^''^- 



desires that His church complete the 
task of taking the gospel to every 
tribe, language, people and nations; 
to help women see that they can 
be personally involved in world 
missions and mobilize their 
churches for full participation 
in world evangelism! This 
is an unending task to be 
performed until Jesus 
returns! 



Matthew 28:19, 20 says, "Go ye 
therefore and teach all nations, baptizing 
them in the name of the Father, and of the 
Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them 
to observe all things whatsoever I have 
commanded you; and lo, I am with you 
always, even unto the end of the world. " 

Sarah K. Taylor organized the Woman's 
Home and Foreign Mission Society in 1897 
in Friendship, Maine. This first group 
started with four active members and two 
honorary members who were men. Mrs. 
Taylor's objective was to "organize and 
unite the efforts of women of the Advent 
Christian denomination in sending the 
gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world, 
deepen the spiritual life among believers in 
Christ, and by this organization render or 
make more efficient the work of the women 
in our Advent Christian churches. " 

Sarah K. Taylor's vision caught on! During 
the first year the national membership 
increased to 300! The second year there 
were 638 members and 37 locals! At this 
point in our history, the main theme of the 
ladies' work was missions! In 1898 the 
WHFMS took on the support of a school in 
India. In 1900, "the Great Famine" hit India 



Continued on page 28 oo 



N 



Advent Christ 

General Conference 

Rev. Ron Tl 



...He said to me, '^My grace 
is sufficient for you, for my 
power is made perfect in 
weakness. " Therefore I will 
boast all the more gladly 
about my weaknesses, so 
that Christ's power may 
rest on me. That is why, for 
Christ's sake, I delight in 
weaknesses, in insults, in 
hardships, in persecutions, 
in difficulties. For when I 
am weak, then I am strong 
(2 Cor. 12:9-10). 



A WORD FROM 
OUR PRESIDENT 



Guideposts (95) published the story of Jim Stovall who became totally blind at 
the age of 29. While he still had partial vision, he volunteered at a school for the 
blind. He was assigned to help a four-year-old boy, blind and severely handicapped. 
Stovall spent considerable time trying to convince the boy he could tie his own 
shoes and even climb stairs despite his limitations. 
"No, I can't!" the boy insisted. 
"Yes, you can," Stovall replied. 
"No, I can't!" 

The verbal battle went on. Meanwhile, Stovall fought his own limitations. Because 

of his deteriorating vision, he had decided to quit his college courses. On his way 

to withdraw from college, he passed the school for the blind and decided to resign 

from his volunteer position as well. 

"It's just too tough," he explained. "I can't do it." 

"Yes, you can!" said a little voice beside him. It was the four-year old who refused 

to tie his shoes. 

"No, I can't!" said Stovall with conviction. 

"Yes, you can!' 

Stovall realized that if he didn't continue, the child would give up too. So Jim 
Stovall stayed in school and graduated three and a half years later. The same week 
he graduated, his little friend tied his shoes and climbed a flight of stairs, sitting 
on the top step ("Leadership", Spring, 1997). 

How often 1 have said, "I can't do it!" It is said more often to myself lest anyone 
hear me and think I'm a quitter. But the fact is, I'm realizing more and more there 
is so much 1 can't do. Aging has a way of reminding us of the things we can't do. 
However, as limitations are considered, I must remember that what 1 am asked to do 
is not always mine alone to accomplish. I have become more aware of those around 
me who can assist or even step in to do what has to be done. Our weaknesses cause 
us to draw on the strengths of others. And while it might trouble us that we seem to 
be becoming more dependent, that in itself may not be all that bad. Isn't that what 
the Apostle Paul was saying in his message to the Philippians when he wrote, "I 
can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13). 

I'm becoming more accepting of my limitations. For I am becoming more dependent 
upon the One who knows my weaknesses. Consider this thought: 

"God would prefer we have an occasional limp than a perpetual strut. And if it 
takes a thorn for him to make his point, he loves us enough not to pluck it out " 
(Max Lucado, Let the Journey Begin) . 



Hudson Taylor once said, "All God's saints were weak people.'"!}' 




bcnptures 




"Jesus said to her, 7 am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even 
though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?'" 

John 11:25-26 (NIV) 

Now and then, I hear well-meaning Christians try to make those words of our Lord support a pla- 
tonic concept of immortality. When they read that the believer "will live, even though he dies" and 
that he "will never die," they conclude that "death doesn't exist for us." They may even suggest 
that the soul is better off without a body, and more alive than ever after death. 

Such an interpretation ignores the very claim that Christ was making. He said, "I am the resurrec- 
tion and the life...", and the promise that immediately follows is clearly related to his claim: he has 
the power to raise people to eternal life (cf. Phil. 3:20-21; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; 1 Cor. 15:50-54). 

Martha (whose brother Lazarus had died) said that she believed her brother would rise again on 
the last day (11:24); and Jesus was informing her that the promised resurrection was intimately 
connected to his power as God's only Son and Messiah. Then he went on to give a small demon- 
stration of that power, by calling her brother back to life (11 :38-44)! 

The scholars who produced the New Living Translation evidently realized that the words of Jesus 
in John 11:26-26 were often misinterpreted, and they were careful to convey the true meaning. (I'll 
add some bold print for emphasis, and include some explanations in brackets.) 

"Jesus told her, 'I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die 
like everyone else, will live again [i.e., they will be resurrected to bodily life]. They are given eter- 
nal life for believing in me and will never perish" [i.e., those who trust in me will be resurrected to 
immortality and will not suffer eternal destruction, as will the unsaved]. 
John 11:25-26 (NLT) 

Scripture teaches that unsaved people will be resurrected, but they will "rise to be condemned" 
(John 5:29 NIV), and then will perish in the "second death" (Rev.20:11-15; Matt.10:28). Those who 
are saved will "rise to live" (John 5:29 NIV), i.e., they will be resurrected to live forever. This is 
the meaning of our Lord's saying in John 11 :25-26; it is a wonderful promise of resurrection to im- 
mortality. We should not twist it to teach that death isn't real for believers. Death is very real, but 
our risen Lord is more powerful than death, and he will have the last word. Hallelujah!* 

Tom Warner is currently a chaplain with Ministry to the Aged, serving retirement homes and care 
centers in Boise, Idaho. 



things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people 
twist to their own destruction" h Peter r.i6 NKIY . 



Bteak the Cod? 



Replace the numbers with the correct letters. 



A B C D E F G HNI LNOR STUVW 

3 11 17 5 9 1 16 10 2 14 8 4 12 15 6 18 13 7 



6 10 2 15 2 15 14 4 13 9 8 4 6 6 10 3 6 7 9 

•> 

14 4 13 9 5 16 4 5 11 18 6 6 10 3 6 10 9 14 4 13 9 5 

9 

18 15 3 8 5 15 9 8 6 10 2 15 15 4 8 3 15 3 8 

3 6 4 8 2 8 15 3 17 12 2 1 2 17 9 1 4 12 4 18 12 



15 2 8 1 



5 lJohn4:10 



Fifth^S^ WOtdS in the puzzle. When you're 

done, unscramble the words to 



make the Bible verse 1 John 4:11. (The number of 
letters in each word is written under the blanks to 










help you.) 
















2: so, to, us, we 
3: God, one 
4: also, dear, love 
5: loved, ought, since 




















































rift Mr^»iur^r«k^^ 




J 



















































































































(4) 



(7) 



(3) TTT 



(5) 



TTT 'W 



(4) 



(5) 



(2) (4) -ITT 



TT) 



Back Home 




Except ye become b^- (fi i(C ChflCilT'fi. ye shall not 
enter into the kinsidom of heaven." 



Cross out all that are: 

1. animals 2. 

4. body parts 5. 



numbers 

words that rhyme 



Lany woke up late, and his 
two friends have started on 
their fishing trip without him. 
Can you find which igloo 
Lany was staying in? 

Cross Out 

Cross out all the words that apply to the 
items listed. (Some words may apply more 
than once.) When you are done, read the 
words left from top left to bottom right. It 
will he I John 4:19. 



3. words with 2 of the same vowels at the end 
6. 3-letter words 



horse 


hands 


plan 


tree 


we 


cow 


love 


cats 


cart 


because 


one 


calves 


three 


he 


first 


eleven 


too 


shampoo 


heart 


mad 


fish 


four 


bird 


through 


loved 


who 


was 


Hawaii 


leg 


poor 


us 


can 





^^^^^^^|^^^w'a^.^^V^^^^^^| 


■ 


Have a Heatt 


In this pile of candy 




n 


hearts there are 


nnpi^i^pi^i^^.^ ^, -^ iifimB 




two hearts that are 


^T "'ifllJ^^^^^I^ ^i^^p 


mm 


the same color and 
have the same mes- 
sage. Can you find 


^^ft ^C % ^^~^-^^^»^i>^at 


r* 


the two hearts? 


m KmIi^ 


f 





»a» SI aSAVSUB ,,31U0H >l3Ka,. 



(WH & FMS cant.) 



and our WHFMS in America 
took on the care of 1 00 
orphans. 



force to further the total program of the 






^H., 



^^^^^1"^^ 






In 1904 the WHFMS 

rented and furnished a 

home for the Boston 

Bible School, which 

later became the New 

England School of 

Theology and then ""^^ 

Berkshire Christian 

College. All work in India was 

placed under the WHFMS in 1906. In 1910, 

the WHFMS purchased a Headquarters 

building at 5 Whiting Street in Boston, MA. 

At this time the membership had reached 

3,200 members. 

During the first half of the 20* century, 
WHFMS not only carried responsibility 
for Advent Christian work in India, but 
much of the burden for mission education 
within the Advent Christian Church. In 
1958, oversight and supervision for Advent 
Christian mission work in India was 
transferred to the American Advent Mission 
Society. 

In 1966 delegates to the WHFMS 
convention adopted this new organizational 
philosophy: 

The WHFMS is an organization of 
the women of the Advent Christian 
denomination interested in the total 
denominational program, and dedicated 
to spreading the "Gospel of the Kingdom " 
throughout the world. Its responsibility 
and mission shall be the organization 
of Christian women to a vital, spiritual, 
educational, financial and numerical 



c:t^^^H^:> 



eol 



denomination. " 

I Three years later, WHFMS 
f offices were moved to the 
new denominational office 
building in Charlotte, NC. 
The Year 1976 marked a 
major change in the relationship 
ofWHFMS to the Advent 
Christian General Conference. 
Delegates to the WHFMS biennial 
convention voted to implement the 
Advent Christian denominational 
reorganization ratified two years earlier. 

The Massachusetts Corporation known 
as the "WHFMS of the Advent Christian 
Church" was dissolved. WHFMS became 
a part of and subject to the jurisdiction of 
the Advent Christian General Conference 
of America, Inc. The title of Executive 
Secretary was changed to Director of 
Women's Work and one year later this 
office was broadened to include all areas 
of women's ministries within the Advent 
Christian General Conference. At this time 
over 3,300 Advent Christian women were 
active in 215 local WHFM societies. Today 
WHFMS membership has dropped to 1,393 
members in 102 locals. This is less than 
half the membership we had in 1976. What 
has happened? 

When restructuring took place, the WHFMS 
became one group under the umbrella of the 
Office of Women's Ministries, a group with 
a focus on "missions". The restructuring 
was intended to encourage WHFMS growth 
as well as other areas of women's ministries 
in the denomination. We do know that as 
of today the WHFMS is the only national 



28 



Q\P 



\<Sf^ 



organization of women in the 
Advent Christian denomination 
In fact, when the Coordinator 
of Women's Ministries 
recently surveyed 
AC churches to 
identify other active 
women's ministry 
groups, there was no 
response. 

We must ask ourselves why 
our numbers have dropped 
so drastically since the late 
seventies. 



First, Satan knows his time is 
limited and is doing everything he can 
to delay the completion of the Great 
Commission. Lorry Lutz in her book. 
Women as Risk-Takers for God, wrote: 

'^ Probably one of the saddest 
accounts of how the attitude 
of church leaders limited 






\ 






\ 



and affected women s 
roles in ministry is the 
stofy of 20"' century 



^'.e^^J^..^oe.^.^ 



:(^'' .d^^.A^^ 



,nI«' 






0^' l^^-^. 



.^V^'^ 



'C«' 






x> 



missions in North 
America. By 1929, 
67% of all foreign 
missionaries 
from the United 
States were 
women 
and over 
40 women s 
mission boards 
had been formed. Women 
recruited single missionaries, 
sent them out to work 
primarily with women and 
children, financed them and 
organized national prayer 
movements. The World Day 
of Prayer was founded by 
the Federation of Women s 
Boards and the Council of 
Women for Home Missions in 
1919. 




"But leaders of the 
mainline churches 
resisted this movement, 
opposing the 
appearance of women 
in public meetings, 
and their assumption 
of leadership roles 
in churches on the 
mission fields. 

"The mainline 
mission boards began 
increasing pressure on 



Former coordinator of women 's ministries, Mrs. Hazel Blackstone and 
President of the national board ofWH & FMS, Mrs. Randee Davis 



29 



the women s organizations to 
merge. In 1884 the Methodist 
Church drew up a new 
constitution which brought 
the women s organization 
under its rule. It took all the 
initiative and power from 
the women, deprived them 
of effective administration 
and ended their appointment 
and assignment of women 
missionaries. " 

Women have historically been treated as 
inferior in many cultures and in the church. 
"Yet," Lutz concludes,"Jesus gave dignity 
and worth to every woman he met. He 
touched the bleeding woman. He honored 
the poor widow. He taught women who 
followed him, breaking Jewish traditions. 
He discussed theology with an immoral 
woman. He appeared first to a woman 
and instructed her to inform his male 
disciples of His resurrection. Obviously no 
circumstance of birth or life lessened the 
concern and respect Jesus showed women 
when He walked on earth." We also know 
that wherever Christianity has gone in the 
world that the plight of women has 
improved. 



i 






^('Ssio, 



As a woman, I have 

never felt anything _ "( belie 

but encouragement 

to use my gifts and 

opportunities for the 

Lord in the Advent ^^^v 

Christian Church. But ^^^^^^Uhit 

I do know that there 

are churches in our 

denomination where 

the WHFMS is not welcome and women 






are not encouraged to take leadership roles. 

I do not believe that restructuring WHFMS 
as a part of and subject to the jurisdiction of 
the Advent Christian General Conference 
of America, Inc., in 1976 was an attempt 
to weaken the work of this organization. 
In 2002, the women of WHFMS reported 
giving $195,584.72 to ministry. $19,500 
of this was undesignated giving to United 
Ministries. $27,000 was designated 
giving to United Ministries, and almost 
$30,000 was given for Christmas in 
October. We have increased our support 
of denominational ministries. Still, our 
numbers have continued to fall. What can 
we do to counter this decline? 

I believe we must have a clear vision of who 
we are, what our mission is and how we 
can accomplish it. Shortly after I became 
national president. Hazel Blackstone, 
Coordinator of Women's Ministries, asked 
me to write an article for the AC Witness 
about my vision for the WHFMS. I thought 
I knew what my vision was. I was wrong. 

In November of 2002, 1 traveled to Seattle, 
WA, for WHFMS Program Kit Committee 
meetings. The first day I visited in the home 
of Kathleen and Clio Thomas, who is the 

Asian/Pacific Area Director. One 
of the first things Kathleen asked 
me was, "What's the difference 
between Women's Ministries 
and WHFMS?" I explained to 
the best of my ability. 

The next morning I joined 
eight ladies around a table in 
Bellingham, WA, with the program 
committee. Almost immediately 



30 



Beverly Teshera, wife of 
George Teshera and long 
time WHFMS member 
asked, "What's the 
difference between 
Women's Ministries 
and WHFMS?" I once 
again explained to the 
best of my ability. 



triennmm. 






t 



ot 



-.4^^'' 



One thing became 

very clear to me. There is a 

lot of confusion about who we are. 

Even after 24 years, it is not clear to our 

membership what our relationship with 

Women's Ministries is. We have lost our 

sense of identity, mission and purpose. I 

also found that each regional organization 

has a different view of WHFMS. 

Today we have a wonderful relationship 
with the Office of Women's Ministries. 
The WHFMS and Office of Women's 
Ministries provide materials for women's 
groups, King's Jewels, Junior Action and 
YWA. Women's Ministries also provides 
a monthly "Prayer and Praise" brochure 
linking women with up-to-date prayer needs 
on our mission fields and the home front. 
Inspirational articles of interest to WHFMS 
and women's groups are featured in the AC 
Witness. The department makes available 
materials for workshops to enhance 
women's societies. "Christmas in October" 
is sponsored by WHFMS and funds 
from the campaign are distributed to our 
missionaries as holiday gifts. The WHFMS 
and the Coordinator of Women's Ministries 
work together to plan and coordinate the 
Advent Christian Women's Conference each 



In March 2003, the National 
/ WHFMS Board and the 
Coordinator of Women's 
Ministries pondered the 
following questions: Who are 
we? Where are we going? What 
must we do to get there? And, are 
we willing to change in order to get 
there? 



We are the Woman's Home and 
Foreign Mission Society and our 
mission is to equip, encourage and enable 
all Advent Christian women to use their 
gifts and opportunities to share the Good 
News of Jesus Christ faithfully, urgently and 
sacrificially until He comes. This would 
include our sisters on any foreign field who 
wish to become part of our organization. In 
doing this our beloved Woman's Home and 
Foreign Society would become a WORLD 
MISSION SOCIETY. 

Are we willing to change in order to 
accomplish our goals? Would we be willing 
to change our name to include women all 
over the world? Would we be willing to 
re-state our goals and mission statement 
in a way that younger women might better 
identify with us? How far are we willing to 
go to see that our task is carried out? Can 
WHFMS become WMS? 

God is calling the whole church to take the 
gospel to the whole world. Let's continue to 
be a part of the Great Commission.^ 

Randee Davis, the National WHFMS President, 
resides in Hudson, NC, with her husband, 
Harold. 




After a complete sellout of the first printing 
in less than three years, this secona edJtioii^Sj 
scheduled to be available in 2004, with a re- I 
tail price of $18.00. 

i 

Call Venture Bookstore, 800-676-0694, to i 
reserve your order at a pre-publication pri( 
of $12.00. ** 



^lOr^ 



f-ror. 



!..!:!!. = .hMM.Jhl..l = ..MI 




Advent Christian 



March/April 2004 



#-#« 



&m 



Witness 



Volume 52, Issue 2 

www.adventchristian.org 

1-800-676-0694 

Editor 
Keith Wheaton 

Contributing Editor 
Tom Warner 

Proofreader 
Kathy Wheaton 

Women 's Ministry Editor 
Randee Davis 



Advent Christian 
General Conference 



fulia Brock Missions Secretary 

WorldMissions@adventchristian.org 
Nancy Brooks Exec. Director Secretary 

ExecDirect@adventchristian.org 
Shirley Efird Bookkeeper 

Trena Efird Missions Secretary 

WorldMissions@adventchristian.org 
Helen Hagler Printer/Mailroom 

Amy Johnson Bookkeeper 

Donna Martin Printer/Mailroom 

Harold Patterson World Missions Director 

WorldMissions@adventchristian.org 
Tina Pressley Venture Bookstore 

Venture@adventchristian. org 
Mary Ritchie Church Relations Secretary 

MaryRitchie@adventchristiaru org 
John Roller Urban/Ethnic & Resource Center 

JRoller@adventchristian.org 
Dawn Russell Venture Bookstore 

Venture@adventchristian. org 
Richard Russell Church Relations Director 

ChurchRelations@adventchristian.org 
Dawn Rutan Information Services 

DRutan@adventchristian. org 
Jim Smith Finance/Services 

Services@adventchristiaru org 
Ron Thomas Executive Director 

ExecDirect@adventchristian. org 

Keith Wheaton Publications Coordinator 

Keith@acgc.us 



International Missionaries 



Area Directors: 

Scott Dombrosky — Latin 

America/Short-Term Missions 

sdombrosky@comcast. net 

John Gilbert — Team Leader 

john@99plusl. org 

Frank Jewett — Europe/Africa 

Jjewett@megalink. net 

John Roller — Urban/Ethnic 

jroller@adventchristian. org 

Clio Thomas — Asia/Pacific 

cliowestva@msn. com 

Honduras 

David Vignali (5/10) 

c/o Teen Missions 

P.O.Box 4094 

San Pedro Sula 

HONDURAS 

tmihondu@netsys. hn 

Liberia 

Abraham David 

Advent Christian Church 

P.O. Box 4669 

Monrovia, LIBERIA 

advent_christian@yahoo.com 

Malaysia 

Victor and Nesamony 

Devadason, 

Beaulah Margreat Devasa- 

hayam 

Al-Shadai Illam 

No. 24 Jalan Pandan 12 

Taman Dato Hormat 42500 

Teluk Panglima Garang 

K. Langat, Selangor 

MALAYSIA 

bethel 3 5 7@hotmail. com 

James and Mercy Devadas- 
son 

20 Jalan Intan 4 

Taman Intan 

86000 Kluang, Johor 

MALAYSIA 

adventchristian@ hotmail. 

com 

Ruth Devairakkam 

36 Jalan 14/2 
Taman Sri Kluang 
86000 Kluang, Johor 
MALAYSIA 

ruthdevairakkam@ hotmail. 
com 



Philippines 

Jeff and Penny Vann 

(7/14 & 5/12; Elizabeth, 
10/24; Connie, 3/29; 
Naomi, 10/11) 
P.O. Box 223 
9000 Cagayan de Oro 
Philippines 
Jeffvann@ acgc.us 
pennyvann@acgc. us 

Grant Aldridge (7/27) 

P.O. Box 223 

9000 Cagayan de Oro 

Philippines 

aldridge@home.philcom.ph 



National Missionaries 

Memphis 

Francis and Lyne Ssebi- 

kindu 

2175Carrollwood 
Cordova, TN 38018 
fssebikindu@ worldnet. 
att.net 

Mexico 

Joel and Omega Garcia 

(La Purisima) 
c/o John Gilbert 
PO. Box 9019 SF 168 
Calexico,C A 92231-9019 
John@99plusl.org 

Juan "Martin" Camacho 
Valdez 

c/o John Gilbert 

PO. Box 9019 

Calexico,CA92231-9019 

Miguel and Maria Mena 

c/o John Gilbert 

P.O. Box 9019 SF 168 

Calexico,CA92231-9019 

China 

All correspondence should 
be channeled through the 
missions office. 



India 

Earl and Martha Wright 

(4/16 & 10/17) 
P.O. Box 3164 
Guindy Chennai 600 032 
wright@md3. vsnl. net. in 

Ernie Schache (1/29) 

PO. Box 3164 

Guindy Chennai 600 032 

INDIA 

ernieschache(a)ysnl. net 



Ghana 
Simon Bissah 

A.C.C. 

PO. Box 604 

Nsawam, Eastern Region 

Ghana 

simbissah@yahoo. com 

Namibia 

Moses Angbongy 

PO. Box 25473 

Soweto 

Windhoek, NAMIBIA 

blessedhope62@hotmail. 

com 

New Zealand 
David Burge 

12BettinaPlace 

Manurewa 

Auckland, NEW ZEALAND 

dburge@slingshot. co. nz 

Nigeria 

E. H. Ekperikpe 

UkotUdoabiaPA. 
Etinan L.G.A. 
Akwa Ibom State 
NIGERIA 
ekperiesima@yahoo. com 

South Africa 
Nathan Fernando 

14 Dick Muller Drive 
NorkemPark 1620 
S. AFRICA 2028 
nathankf@excite. org 



Croatia 
Desire Ahola 

PO. Box 29 

Nova Gradiska 

35400 CROATIA 

ahola. desire@sb. hinet. hr 
Advent Christian Witness (ISSN #0741-4302) is published bimonthly by the Advent Christian General Conference of 
America, 1460! Albemarle Rd., P.O. Box 23 1 52, Charlotte, NC 28227. Subscription rates in the United States and Canada: 
One year $15.00. Single copy $2.75. Overseas rate, one year $18.00. Periodicals postage paid at Charlotte, NC. and ad- 
ditional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Advent Christian Witness, RO. Box 23152, Charlotte, 
NC 28227. Printed in Canada. 

As the official publication of the Advent Christian General Conference, the Advent Christian Witness publishes the 
teachings of the Advent Christian Church and promotes the task of disciple-making both in North America and around the 
world. The views expressed in this magazine are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those of the editor or 
the Advent Christian General Conference. Member: Evangelical Press Association. Copyright © 2004. 



From the Editor 




"So doctor, can I start training for a triathlon?" 

"Sure, you can do anything any other normal person can do; 
just no straining.'''' 

My neurologist had just given me the good news that my most 
recent MRI showed a "dramatic improvement" in my torn 
artery. After five months of worrying about a stroke or death, it 
was an unspeakable relief to hear a doctor assure me that I was 
going to be fine. 

But his last two words vexed me — "no straining." What does 
that mean? I'm the kind of person who strains all the time. 
Like Avis rental car, I "try harder" at everything I do. Call it 
compensation for lack of talent. I don't have perfect pitch, so 
I practice longer. I'm not naturally athletic, so I run faster. I'm 
not naturally perspicacious, so I study harder (and look up 
more words in the dictionary!) 

For people like me, "no straining" may be impossible. We 
plodders know our only hope of achieving excellence is tied to 
a protestant-work-ethic mentality that demands we give it our 
all. Before my artery tore, I was following an exercise regimen 
based on the notion that "what doesn't kill me makes me stron- 
ger." Of course, I had an addendum to Nietzsche's famous line: 
"whatever doesn't almost kill me is not really helpful." 

Now, I'm discovering the truth of another twentieth century 
philosopher who stated, "A man's gotta' know his limitations" 
(Dirty Harry). If my neurologist and a larger-than-life rogue 
cop played by Clint Eastwood weren't persuasive enough, an- 
other MD has framed the same wisdom with a spiritual context. 
In his book Margin, Dr. Richard Swenson reveals the unpopu- 
lar truth that human beings cannot function well with ever-in- 
creasing demands on time, energy, emotions, or money. In his 
follow-up devotional guide {A One- Minute Margin) he states: 

(Continued on page 21) 



Contents 



Frank Jewett's Notes from South 

Africa 4 

Rev. Frank Jewett 



Death Opens Doors for IVIinistry 12 

Dr. Nelson B. Melvin 

Great Pain and a Father's Love 16 

Dr. David Alves 

To IVIom 22 

Sharon Oster 

A Word From Our President 24 

Rev. Glenn Rice 



Twisted Scriptures 25 

Rev. Tom Warner 

As Children 26 

Dawn Russell 

Red Refrigeratiors Galore 28 

Rev. Earl Wright 

The Road to Redemption 30 

Randee Davis 

Cover photo: One of the attendees at the . 
Advent Christian leadership conference j 
in South Africa. Photo by Rev. Frank I 

Jewett. I 



AfncA 

Ready to leave the U.S.A. 

Thursday, 11-6-03, 

2:30pm - ^yj^fJudy, Hat.a^i are^atth^buy^atuyrvUvP^yrOand. 

oitMcVoYiald^. 
ed^^Uh.you.where^,erI am.. Pleu^Z^y,^ 



Cape^Towyv. Itfy 3,280 mUe^tcy- 
Lovulon^frcynvSoytony. TTx^rvwe/ve^ 
gK>t o^ooti^er ten/ Kotir^ to- A/o/- 



7:30pm 








^f 



Theopollna and Badiru Masudi (above) 
are lay leaders in the Blessed Hope Fel- 
lowship Church in Windhoek, Namibia. 
Badiru is an elder in the church. Yvonne 
Yvy Hangara (right) is the worship leader 
at Blessed Hope Fellowship Church. 







Pictured at top are Frank Jew- 
ett, Sam Warren, Harold "Hat" 
Turner, and David Garufi. Rev 
Elton Young (above right) pas- 
tors a church in the Dunoon 
area of Capetown. The upper 
left photo shows Sam leading 
one of the conference meet- 
ings. 



1. „ 



In London, England 

Saturday, 11-8-03 

12:52am - Wey^eyreturned/from/ciydcLy of tourOnj^ London/. We^dCd/the/ 

London/ Eye^, the/Worl(^'yl^^e4rtohirervatory whe&i, ctcro^they 
riA/er from/We^ftm^/n^er Ahhey. We/hud^Engl^^ 
(xnd/tooh o/ double/- decker hu^to-theTow Loop - aXVvery 
Cntere^itvn^. 

iy\ere/ ye^^vwto-he/ a/ re^pe(Mye/ OA^axyn^t^^ Thoife/prcLy - 

Ong^ for iA4,^cu'e/ mx^ihiA^a/tre4nendotLy differ ^^ 
every yyiUjfCon/ trip hey taken/ ha^ contrihtAted/ to- hly growth 
iwChriiit. It y reM}ardin^to-he^ o/poA^ of }M<:h/th(Axg^. 

In Namibia, South Africa 

Saturday, 11-8-03 

9:35pm - VOere On/ Wirudhoeh ("VOnhooh"), hJcuvvCblci/'y occpvtcd/. There y cu 
ytron^Vutch OnfLuencehere. In/ 1999 NoAnihia/wcuy voted the 
deane^it city un/Africcv. Ity economy iy on/ the lApyuuCng^. Trade, 
m^A^eraly OAod/toiArifrm/ arehig^here. WefLew 'BritUh/Air. All of 
i^yhad/ comfortahle/ treaty, e^ccept Scun/, who-wcty^ritttng^ 
hetweenyt\\}0-hi^haXiplayerythatypraM)ledaXloverhi^ 



Sunday, 11-9-03 
morning - 



3:00pm 



Over hreakfu^ Hat a4^ I talked/ ahout church/ iMue^ 

home. Welovetho^^pe<ypleandycireprayiA^thatthCymxyrn/- 

in^ MjiH/he/ a/ ypecldbtiwie 

at Ihe O )cford Church/. 

We HIM) hahxycnvyM}dVhing' 

axyroity the road/. My cold 

Lylea^/ing^. Tharih you/ Lord. 

WeU/ vUCt the hJoAmhiarx/ 
church. Twvloxykin^ 
forward to- hearing^ M Oiey 
preaxih. Tonight TVU ypeah. 

ValentiA^etotyh uyto-the 

3le4fied/Hope feUcnv^hlp Church On/ Wa^nahedo/. Yvonne led 

the iri/n^{r\^arud worship. Moi,ey^oke. TheentOre^ervOce/voa^ 

wonderful. Ahnoi^ everythOn^ Oy On/ En.gl0&hhe<xiu4re there a^^e 

people/ from/ many languu^ grouJpy attendOn^. The pa^or 

e^^\coura^ge^thy^^wh> are nxytprofOclent On/EnglOih/t 

to- ^rOmeone who- carv translate. 

The church s^enta^n/evcingelOym/team/to- a/ Con^ city caUed 
L uhvunba^hl. They put up big- hea^Attful poytery to- promote the 
oru^fode. I g oA/e $1 00 ryfdenomlvu^tOohal money to- help. 




1 : OOpm - Vaienttne/ drove^ uy to- church/. Sa4n/ preciched/. (^reat wonhCp ! 
;, Todyoy I felt clcy^rcr to- ChrUtthcfAV I hciA/eyfbr vnanthi,^. Mo^e^led/ 

[i I partofthe/^fervice/. He/y a/ g^eat lead^er t>v cUl/ wayy. I thuAoh 

we^'Wh(M/ey n4A^£/lcLdA.e^ LAvtheytrcMA^ 
J%e/protocxyla4^c<yurte^ gdA/e4^to-tf^ 
_ They ca4^ry otu-ha^ 04^(^3 Me^. They g^ 

pulpCt arid/ at our treaty. Thiy wiahe^ it ea^fler for u/precicher to- 
coryjcentvate/. 

Monday, 11-10-03 

6:00pm- )/Ve/hc^^ci/g<yxyd/tlvne/M}oryhCpiv\jg^ihXyyeA/er^^ 

hurd^rw (£(y\\}Y\/ lAV u/hvg^pde/ ar\d/ihe^ ^romeone/ 

eUe/'yto-pray. VatrU^ iycvc^yrwerted/ Muslim/ (av the/ c^ynf^ 
enoe/. He/ arid/ othery are/pray iyig^ for their farvuXie^. 



" *"" Se\/eralofuydldr\/tfeelg<yxyd/todx^; wvayhe/Cfy^ometKing^we/ 

ate/. Sarwwa^toxy- id^ to- come/ with u^. M) e/ toured/ cer\traX/ 
WiruXhoehwUh/Moi,€^Ln/the/a^ernox>vi'. hJamXhia/Oyvery 
clearv on/the/ OiAtkide/, htAtiyfuU/ofAWS. Tt yhoA/ing^ de^a^- 
tottn^ re^ato lUloCt ^^e^ Oy out of ocmtrol/here/. 

Tuesday, 11-11-03 

3:30pm- Sarn/had/ ci/lon^ night, he/threM) up ^feA/en/tirne^. ^ 

feelylOOO% better tharvyeM^erday. He/wa&cM£/to-dxy-hCy 

" -■ teojzhlvig^. S arw ly a/ great cxymrnurxloator of the/ Word/. I 

hoA/ervt heerv a^ yich. I catied/Judy to- a4>k/ her to- get people/ to- 

pray that well feel better. 

8:45pm- Th^phor^je oaXlho^mje/ for prayer iyworhiv^. Sarwavxd/ Tare 

feeXlng^better. Pra^Ue/Qod/! Qreat worship thiy e^enirig^. TharJh 
„_„..- youj, Lord/, forJoirUng^ uy irvthe^fe/ meetOng^. Several/ yyierv haA/e 

ihared/thelr d^e^dreto- be brought up to- a/ neM) level On/ Chriyt. 

Wednesday, 11-12-03 - AW of uy are feeling^ a/ bit better, (^od/ iy hearing^ the 

prayer y of foUcy bach home/. Were haA/in^ another becuAtiful 
i(Ur\r\M/. We/ ^leptweU/lo/st night. 

In/the aftern/yon/ we traveled/ to- the/ Okapuko/Keiferve where 
wewerehOM) giraffe, hcdyle/, mongoxyi^, roehuch, Cbe^o, wiZde/- 
beeyt, crocodAle/, arul/hCppoy. A twenty -duy -old/hippo wa^ the 
ytar ofthe/^hoM). WeW worth the/ $18 aAdvnliM/on/. 

Thtye^eruM/^l a^>ked/follcy to ^hare ay reason/ why Qod/irert 
them/ to- the/ conference. They gave Krme/ great reypcm^,ey: reyt, 
Vvwie away to- read/ and/ meditate, opporturvity to- get to hnxyw 
brothery and/ ^fV$tery, learning^ B Me/ truth, ^,eelng^the/impor- 
tance/ of ^round/ doctrine/. 






1 :30am - They teuchir^ wjeA^t well. People/ ^eem/ iyxtere^ited/ t>v the/ i^hje^yt: 
of (ieath/ cuod/ vihcct it redWy lAV^/oh/e^. 

Thursday, 11-13-03 - Iv\^the/ aftervuyxyr^ vneetiAX^we^ (iecM ound/ 

truthfulne^. Moi,e^ !fe€^n4r'to-h€/aytran4pc^e4^leader. they 
$100 wey},eynd/th^aynfere4aceymx>y\thly barely 
Hiy refrigerator ly^ofte^^ empty, hut h^co^ 
try. Wey^okeyoftheyAdA/e4^Cl^iyUU^vn/^ractL4jrey(^ 
cu^th^i^Onklngyca^hyfiow comiyngyfrom/therey. 

Friday, 11-14-03 

5 : 00pm - WeJrey done^. It wcuy o/ gre^;it oonfere^u^. A 11 tventy delegatey^ 
wereyt^Uledy and/h^x(l gre^xt qiA£4tu^^ But ^reA/ercd/peopley rey- 
Icitedy^orCeyyofpe^leywho-clcUym/they dledy oyndy },aM) hew\/eyn/ 
or heXi cvnd/theyv returnedyto- Ufey. Sam/ realty hit they "},oundy 
doctrivxey" Ih^mte/ a^nd/ warnedy a^galvx^ bei/ngy ^^vayedy by ^en/- 
iratConaliy!ttcy ^orieif'. 

M)eyhad/ delegates from/ Zaymhioy, theyVemxyoratic/Uepahlic/of 
they Congo, hiamUbiay, and/Angoloy. They Holy Spirit dUo- 
worhed/ through/ our people to- wwnliter to- yeA/eyral gueyyty 
attheyfa<Ulity, peopleyfrom/C^hanoy, Qervnarvy, Indloy, theyVKC, 
BurLAAodyC/, ayndyAngolo/, to-noAVhe/ayfeM}. 

Th^cloifing^c^lehration/wCthth^d^eleg^^ htAt 

ipeoial. AU/hut a/feM) hud/perfex:t atteArularu:^ o/nd/ a^ goldy 
i/e^on/ih.elr certvfioate^^. 

Sam/toohm£ywithyhlm/to-play golf. NoMj we/can/hxya^ofpl^ 
ingy golf iyyv Africa/. There/ wereyymulifox/fer ret typeyaynlmaly 
everywhere/ on/they cour^. h) a/mliriaydoe^t feel very Africoyn/. 
Itha^^a/lotofEuropeurvinfiuericey; yytcuyyoftheymercho/nty 
are/ Europeoymr-. 

Saturday, 11-15-03 

11:30am- M)e^reyyittvr<^attheyaAA^ortirvM)vrid}uyeh.OiA^ 

celedyhe<x\AA4reyitwayyh4^hylightnlngy. ThwnhC^odyweywerervt 
orvCt! They airport dAre<:tor !,ayywe/'llhe/ the/ fir^tc^ 
plarxe/to-Joharwie^fbiArg-atSiSO ayndythatweycarvgeta/con/- 
neetion/to- Cape/ Town/, k)- wey may get to- he^ hJatharv fernxyun/- 
do- there/. 

In Johannesburg, South Africa 

5 : 00pm - We/'rey (yn/Joharme4,burg^. The/ flight to- Cape/ Tom) w left hefore/ wey 
c<yuldy get throu^ CM4rtom^ a/ndy catch it. Thly iytheythCrdy 
flight we/ve/ wuMed/ on/ they hJa/mtbioy le^. Wey'rey vuyw waAti^jgy 

9 



for ciy 6:00 flight. 

I catch/ wvyhelf a^^kCn^g^ the^ Lord/ to- mom/e^t: Kt^ pre4i€A\oe/. Every 
tlwie/he/ dcre^. Lord/, 1 thanhyou/for arwwjerin^ vny prayery. 



In Cape Town, South Africa 

Sunday, 11-16-03 

8:00am- We^ wicude/ it to- Cccpe^ Tom) kv, m/ the/ Lord/y ytreng^. It tooh 
t^}eh/e/}uyurycvvui/t\}0-YVUMed/ flights 
ha\/e/onlytcilce4a/tujo-hcnAry.PaM:orEltorvY 
the/ atyport wcUtiA^for u^. He/ytahiA^uyto-the/ 10:30 hervice/. 

j^fj Thty cAty iy vYuyd^ervv oYud/he^MAtiflAh a^^^ 

V>iAt1hiere/G^e/hu/ge/ho^mjOife^)ciAx^iprc^ 

hJe^ week/ theA'-eU/ he/ o/ vote ow o/ Iom) to- penali/^ clergy 

if they refwi^to- yyiarry gciy covcpley. 

M)e attend^ed/ Eltovvy church/ in/Varuyxyn/ - ou orowd/ed/ ^ettle/- 
vvierxtnorthwe^ofthe/clty. The/ church/ m£^y (a^ (m^ old/ mili- 
tary tent that voa^ gi^ew hy Project J ud^o/ (out of Canadu/) . 
There were ahoiAt thirty people/ Uv hervice/. H ey trying to- get 
a/pCece/of land/ for $3,571 (IL S.). A good/ ^ot for o/ church/, 
hut it prohahiy won/t he/ A dvent Chriytlarv. A nythOng^ Elton/ 
leurned/fronvCluy-aArulme/a/cxyuple/yeurya^<r 
heen/ forgotten/. He warny people/ that, "To- keep your s,alvatlon/ 
you/ wiayt go- out to- vu Ctneyy, " otherw Ue/ "yowU/ hurn/ forever in/ 
heU/." 



4:00pm 



„__.„- Iw) i^ he/ could/ underhand/ the/ word/ "perish/" in/ QodJy Word/. 

(^od/ !,€4^hiy Son/to- dAe/ aru^ riire/ a^g<UA^ s>o-that oM/ who- tri^ 
him/ wCU/ nxyt perUh/. Marxy theological yyytewiy cha^x/ge/ the/ 

- meaning^ of that and/ other wordy to- vncike/ Scripture fit their 

hia^r-. I helie^/eAdA/ent ChrUtian/ theology iyfidly BChllcalon/ 
thiy UrifUe/. 

Monday, 11-17-03 

3:00pm- Ecirlythlymxyrnvn^wehud/the^aAnu^^ing^e)cperienc^ 

carried/ up Table/ Mountain/ hy aericd tra^w, to- Siee/ the wioyt 

incredible/ view of the entire Cape Tomj kv area/, including 

Cape point, where the/ Atlantic Ocean/meety the/ Indian/ 

.. Q cean/. What a/ treat the/ L ord/ allowed/ u^l I kept thinking of 

hly wiujeyty a^l looked/ over the/ edge/, at 3,500 feet elevation/. 



9:00pm- 



We a^rked/ Clive, our driver, where to- go- for de^Si^iert, for Knne/- 
thlng-y^ulshy and/SrOft. Heturned/the/ car and/headed/ for 
"ParadUe/. " ThankTX^od/, we dldnJt arrive! Ity a/ place/ 



ice^creuym/, cahe^, Oynd/ ynlckery. When/CliA/eyfiyncdly realC^fed/ 

Ke^cuircwxt. Thoynhyctw, Lord/, fiyrprc^Ua^partnerywho- 
helped/to- keep uuy oM^ay frcrnvthe^wrovigy kCnd/ of "Paradlifey. " 

Tuesday, 11-18-03 

5:00pm - I gwi/ey^ltan/ $100 for hCyhelp wUh/trcu^ortccUon/. Soum/ 
1hi^\}(^1hat^ltorvml^htch4Xvi^}^ 
throu^ghyxvCth/TUySr-proTriiife^, edZioation/, eta Vfe^'U/^c^/. 

Wednesday, 11-19-03 

9 : 00am - We/ were/ up earhy. I'wvjiM^ ahxyut cuifuL&ted/ to- the^ tUney differ - 
en<>e^here/ vuyw cvnd/today we/Ve/he^icied/haohwe^forcu^ioth/- 
er he^e^v-hour cKoa^j^. My poor body gety frustrated/ with m£y 
atttywe^. 

7:15pm- They Britiy^ A iA^ 7^7 jiMt landed/. We/Ve/atbwatttn^ here/ with 
hxyardiyng^paM0y. In/hatfoyn/hour or ^o-they wiUhe/loadtn^. 
M)eJre/g^ttir\^chyhe/. VoA/id/ ^hared/hOyte^tiMixyyyy witha^, Kcnu 
Qod hoyy ^fOA/ed/ hiMV fronv a/ life/ of de^ructton/ iAV drw^ and 
cdcohoh. 

Heading home 

Thursday, 11-20-03 

8:30am— We/arriA/ed/iA^Londxyn/cU:6:30a4^ - aAO/elevevv-hourtrip. I 

hleptpretty welion/the/plarxe/andhxd/ci/goodttme/prayiA^ 
thOy vnorntn^, praxttdA^ itome/ of the/ contemplation/ teoh- 
yiCqueS'thatVr. Ve^viareittaXk^(ibxyiAtiyVva/hox>hI'YVvre<^dty\j^. 
We/ hoA/e/ a/ three/-hour layover before/ headXrig- for A merCooy. 
We/' re/ alt ready to- go- home/. Itfy heen/ a/ longp trip. 

The/ ne^d/ irv South Afrixxi/ vy very great. 11% ofthe/populu- 
tton/i^y infected/ with AIDS. The/ a\/eruge/life/^an/thereCy ^6^/2 
yeary. " I n/thty country, coffin/ mxthtn^a^nd funer at dirccttng- 
are/ growth iyndu!tri^' (USA Today Nov. 20, 2003). My prater 
i4f' that the/ goypet ofje^uy wiXL/heoome/the/ greatest growth in/- 
duytry there. May the/ Lord ui^e/ Advent ChriMtany to- hetp 
vnahe/ithccpperv.'v' 




Death 
opens 
doors for 
ministry 



By Dr. Nelson B. Melvin 



A sixteen-year-old boy was killed in a one-car crash. His 
father (a Methodist minister), his mother, and grand- 
mother had come to the United States from Cambodia. 
Relatives and friends came to the funeral home and mourned 
their loss for three days, as was their custom. I will never 
forget the grandmother, dressed in black, draping herself over 
her grandson's casket and wailing day after day. It was heart 
wrenching. 

Following the funeral service, the funeral director and I had to 
roll the casket into the dressing room and snip the wire that held 
his mouth closed before going to the cemetery. The Humongs, a 
Cambodian tribal group, believe that a person's spirit can only 
depart through an open mouth. This was a classic case of co- 
mingling primitive culture and Christianity, polluting the pure 
promise of the blessed hope of Christ's return and our future 
resurrection. 

While American funeral practices may not seem quite so odd 
to us, our culture has also greatly distorted the biblical message 
about death and what God promises for the future. There is a 
great need for careful teaching about what Scripture really says, 
so that people will be better prepared to deal with death and the 
loss of a loved one. 



For the past seven years, I've served as Pastoral Care 
Coordinator for a funeral home in Charlotte, North 
Carolina. Perhaps my experiences will be helpful to 
readers who want to be better equipped to minister to 
people in their time of loss. 

What can we say or do? 

You may feel uncomfortable in the presence of death 
and not know what to say. But words are not as 
important as your presence. Simply let the bereaved 
know that you are there for them. 

My father was pastor of an Advent Christian church 
in Watertown, Wisconsin, when my mother died 
at the age of fifty-one. Most of the other pastors in 
town came by the parsonage to express their sympa- 
thy, but I only remember one of them. A Moravian 
pastor came to the door, embraced Dad, and kissed 
him on both cheeks, while tears trickled down his 
own cheeks. When this man had been a missionary 
in the New Hebrides, he'd made the coffin and dug 
the grave for his own beloved companion. He didn't 
need to say anything; we knew he understood. 

Our eighteen year-old son, Paul, died while he was 
a student at Aurora College. Friends and former pa- 
rishioners of ours there in Aurora, Illinois, were very 
supportive; however, one stands out. As we were 
entering the funeral home for the viewing, a num- 
ber of people were leaving; among them was Henry 
Hurlbet. He threw his arms around me and pressed 
his wet cheek against mine, then moved on without 
a word. I remembered that Henry had lost a son in 
World War II. Words were not necessary. I knew he 
understood and cared. 

When you are engaged in conversation with the be- 
reaved, take care not to turn the focus to a previous time 
of sorrow in your own life. Be a good listener. Rather 
than asking if there is anything you can do, suggest a 
specific need that you might be able to fill. Offer to 
provide food, childcare, a guest-room for an out of 
town relative, or help with transportation. Anticipate 
a need and offer to fill it. 



Tips for pastors 

While words are not always necessary for a friend 
of the family, the pastor has to say something at the 
memorial service. That task is easier when a godly 
person dies. The saint has lived out a personal mes- 
sage and the service can celebrate that life. 

It's not the right time to try to correct everyone's 
beliefs about what happens after death, although the 
pastor certainly will want to emphasize the blessed 
hope of the believer - our resurrection to immortal- 
ity at Christ's return. And faithful pastors will want 
to do whatever they can to comfort those who feel 
the loss most keenly. 

The more difficult services are for people whose 
lives produced little or no evidence of a personal re- 
lationship with the One who is the way, the truth and 
the life. I've conducted funerals for atheists, a mur- 
derer, and people whose immoral lifestyle caused 
their death by AIDS. I steer clear of judging. 1 learn 
as much as possible about the person who died so 
that I can personalize the message; then I share 
whatever positive information about the deceased 
that I know. 

I also tell what God has prepared for those who put 
their trust in Jesus. 1 try not to give false hope, as 
if everyone will gain eternal life; but I do my best 
to present the Gospel. That doesn't mean that 1 can 
prevent a false impression from being conveyed if 
others speak at the service. I once conducted a me- 
morial service at a farm where the deceased man and 
his buddies had often gone hunting. The family had 
told me nothing that would indicate he was a Chris- 
tian. I did my best to clearly present the Gospel, but 
after a shotgun salute and the scattering of his cre- 
mains, one of the men raised his hand heavenward 
and proclaimed, "Now he's in a better place." 

Good news for the non-religious 

One family told the funeral director that neither the 
deceased nor they were religious. I wondered why 
they wanted the help of a Christian minister. 



13 



At the service, I suggested why it was of value for us 
to be together in the chapel. First, I said, it was ap- 
propriate to celebrate the life and accomplishments 
of this man who had touched their lives significantly. 
He held more than eighty patents for inventions that 
had improved the lives of many people. Second, 
the service provided an opportunity for friends to 
share in the family's sorrow and to provide com- 
fort. Finally, I reminded those present that our quiet 
moments in the chapel gave us each an opportunity 
to think seriously about our values, priorities - and 
eternity. I confessed that 1 too was not a "religious 
person" in the way most people think of religion. I 
explained the contrast between religious efforts to 
earn God's approval and the truth of the Incarnation: 
how our loving God came to us in Jesus, through 
whose death and resurrection we are offered the gift 
of eternal life. 

A tough looking cowboy 

The time of sorrow can be a moment of great op- 
portunity. A man came in several hours before the 
scheduled visitation for his deceased friend. He 
was dressed country style with a black western 
hat. His arms were tattooed from the elbows down. 
This rough looking dude stood by his friend's cas- 
ket for several minutes and then blurted out, "He 
looks good. What did you do to him?" Then he 
said, "When my time comes, just put me in a cheap 
box and throw some dirt on me. I don't want some 
preacher saying stuff over me. I've got enough to 
answer for" 

God gave me a burden for him and on church visitation 
night, a couple went with me to his house. It was in 
a dangerous part of town and was dimly lit. There in 
his living room, we saw a picture of "Christ Knock- 
ing at the Door" leaning against the coffee table. He 
told us it had fallen off the wall without breaking the 
night before. Then he told us how his wife had died of 
cancer and how his son, who was on drugs, had shot 
himself Our cowboy friend said he was so depressed 
after those losses, that he'd aimed a .357 magnum at 
his head and pulled the trigger "Click." He tried again: 
"click.. .click." Then he pointed the gun toward the 



ground - and that time it fired. God graciously spared 
his life so that we could have the privilege of leading 
him to Jesus that night. 

An Alzheimer's patient 

The death of a woman seemed imminent when the 
family made plans for her funeral. She had Alzheim- 
er's and other life threatening health problems. I 
visited her at a nursing home several times. One 
afternoon, her husband, whom I had recently led to 
Christ, asked, "Reverend, do think she will go to 
Heaven? She was a good woman, but I have never 
heard her confess Christ." I said, "Let's see what 
God can do." A day earlier she hadn't been able to 
even recognize her husband. But as he reminded 
her who I was and asked if she understood, she 
said, "Yes." It seemed that God had pulled back the 
curtain of her confusion and opened a window of op- 
portunity. I asked her if she loved Jesus and wanted 
to receive Him as her Savior. Her answer was a 
clear, "Yes." 

I conducted her funeral a week later. A few months 
have passed since then, but on a recent Sunday two 
of her grandchildren were baptized and twelve mem- 
bers of her family filled a pew. 

A country club member 

A man came to the funeral home to make arrange- 
ments for his mother who was seriously ill. He told 
me she had been a golf enthusiast and country club 
member. He questioned whether she was saved, 
because she was not open to his witnessing efforts. 
I went to visit her and her husband and was politely 
received, but interruptions prevented me from talk- 
ing with them about the Lord. A few days later, I 
learned that she was in the hospital. 

When I arrived in her dimly lit room that night she 
was in extreme pain, so I prayed for relief. A few 
minutes later I left. After I had driven six miles to- 
ward home, the Holy Spirit said," You didn't ask her 
the important question." I returned to her hospital 
room and told her that I wanted to be certain that she 



14 



would spend eternity with Jesus. In the midst of her pain, she confessed Jesus as her Savior. Two hours later 
she died. 

At her memorial service the church was filled with people from the country club and 1 had the great privi- 
lege of sharing the Gospel with them. 

Preparing for eternity 

After the death of an older woman, family members came to the funeral home three evenings in a row. They 
would have stayed all night had we allowed it. The last night, at 1 1 :00 p.m., I stepped into the chapel and 
noticed one of the daughters stuffing clothes under the casket mattress. I raised it to make her task easier and 
I asked why she was doing that. She explained, "It's a long way to Heaven. She's going to need a change of 
clothes." 



In addition to the clothes, she had included a twenty-dollar bill, a bottle of aspirin, and a package of ciga- 
rettes. With a friendly smile, I told her 
that Heaven will be smoke free and 
there will be no headaches there. Her 
mother wouldn't need the aspirin or the 
cigarettes. Later, I tried to point those 
family members to the Savior. 

We might be amused at the naive notion 
that extra clothes, money, and other 
items would benefit a deceased per- 
son. But, our smiles will fade when we 
remember that millions of people make 
no adequate spiritual preparation for 
death. 

God has given us a blessed hope; it is 
urgent that we share that good news 
with joy and bold enthusiasm. As we 
cross the path of people who have lost 
a loved one, we have a wonderful op- 
portunity to express Christ's love and 
truth.* 

Dr. Melvin was ordained as an Advent 
Christian minister in 1944, and is a for- 
mer editor of the Advent ChristianWit- 
ness magazine. He is visitation pastor 
and minister with senior adults at Blair 
Road United Methodist Church in Mint 
Hill, North Carolina, and also serves 
as Pastoral Care Coordinator for Lowe 
Funeral Home in Charlotte, N. C. 




15 




% 0^. Sauid CUae^ 



•W-K.i^-,\ , 



'*-* j m 'Jk)':S' 



.-, ai« .^t . 



-^^ .^^ 



lAI 


iitfii 




m r 





Stoitwc We£h b a ficUancd ctuvuicteK in 
the mud, Cide^ 3imi^e 3tut^, % pPut 
3 wing., Simtwt gnmu^ up man oHpfum- 
ag£. in Maim, J he dactm., ufAa^ ujuia 
tfiz place, Became^ (ike a father ta the 
OHphaned ctuldbien, and Uie& (d6 6edt ta 
in^titi a den^e of ^eif^-e^teem in them, (It 
6tedtime, luhen fie twaw aid the lights, he 
almojip ^OMp, ^^Qaodnight, qmt pninceA 
and pmteedde6 of. JVem England J* 

fjfie dactojc und&i^taad fiatu an OHphan 
ceuid have, a uwunded dpudt, and a 
deep need fwc afpnming taae and ema- 
tianai healing, Jhe 6ame might be 6ald 
^ ^'^pi^dtual mphand'^ wha ane 6tmn 
mta thi& fallen wmld, uUtheut hnom- 
mg Qod 06 ouh. Sathe^, 5oh> thai neodon, 
ma^t of owe neadem should be aUe ta 
identifg with the pain and the healing 
that S)aaid CUaed had e^efdenced. 



Fathers don't come easy. It started at an orphan- 
age. Much Hke Homer Wells, who grew up in an 
oiphanage in St. Clouds, Maine - yet quite different, 
too. In Homer's case, nothing was real, just a prod- 
uct of John Irving's imagination. But for me, it was 
all too real. 



(Continued next page) 



-Si^^H* 



-^1*.- 







J^:. 



iter the nurse-i 



le tarmer-dad and show him the hole: 



re not that deep. 1 fee 



ne btate oi iviassacnusetts stopped my real mom trom 
)ming to visit me because I cried too much when she 
ime. She upset me with her strange ways and friends, 
"st hugging me and crying... then yelling, "You don't 
ve me anymore. You're forgetting me. You love vour 



3 oiAf cdone and labfi J 
fiad a ^ieai mother ta 

haid mey and a kind 

dad ta pwlect me. 



'e. At some pomt, my siDlmss ar 



lelled that way all the tnne i 
ay because of child-neglect 



ley stopped my youi 
t him in the face. 1 d 



IV brother Donj 



)w about my sister Alice. She was only a year old. My adopted mother co 
me she got me. The social workers offered her to be with me. But my new 
aby would be too much for him and Bettv. iust starting out as voung narei 



otten her at 



Id, died when he was eleve 



old, iust before I was born. So 



le and Betty hoped the 



ave their own baby after they adopted 
feel thev could keep mv siblings and 



How odd not to clearly remember any beginnings. But 1 know now that God was with me. I had a vague 
sense of that even as a child; I could feel his presence. 

I knew that God's hand was on me, even in the bam, where I lay bleeding and crying. I looked for him, 
though he was with me. 1 wanted to SEE him. 1 wanted to know what he thought of me. 1 longed for an- 
swers. But I didn't know how to find him. Yet, I could feel him . . . invisible, loving, and caring - protecting 
me through it all. It would be another twenty-three years before he would really reveal himself to my under- 
standing. 

I now understand that he is the Father-God who understands great pain. He is the One who endured the pain 
of giving his precious Son up to death so that others could find families. The Psalmist wrote of how "he puts 
the lonely in families." 

He is the God of all comfort who has taught me that experiencing great pain and rejection can enable us to 
grow and learn to comfort other people who are in pain. He can work through the suffering of his sons and 
daughters to help make others whole. 

Looking over my life, I see that rejection was my theme for too many years - until the One who announced 
that I am loved and accepted finally came to me. He placed me in a family. He taught me REAL love. That 
love I now share with those he brings my way. 



So 1, who cannot seem to have natural children of my own, 
have become a spiritual father to the fatherless and to many 
other Homer Wellses like myself. And God, the most per- 
fect Father, has made us fatherless fathers and mothers to be 
princes and princesses of New England, "fr 

Dr. David A Ives is pastor of 

New Life Fellowship (AC) in 

Concord, N.H. This article 

is an excerpt from David's 

forthcoming book, "God's 

Favorite Name: A Memoir of 

Intimacy with God. " 




20 



(editorial continued) 



"We are so accustomed to pushing the limits — even 
exahing that push — that we often completely skip 
over the fact that we do, in fact, have limits. We all 
do. It is undeniable. Everything on earth has limits." 

Beyond stating the obvious facts. Dr. Swenson 
emphasizes the truth that God the Creator designed 
us with these limitations. If he had wanted us to do 
more he would have created us with more ability. 
Maybe some straining is simply failing to accept 
God's design. 

I think a lot of Advent Christians are just like me. As 
a group, I think we're more like plodders than ex- 
ceptionally gifted superstars. Our churches, confer- 
ences, regions, and even the national office are often 
tempted to try straining. Some of us feel that any 
ministry that doesn't kill us makes us stronger. And, 
any ministry that doesn't almost kill us isn't really 
worthwhile. So, whenever an opportunity arises to 
do just a little bit more, we jump on it. 

A few months ago I received an e-mail from a mis- 
sionary in Peru. He had seen our website and was 
thrilled to find an organization that shared his beliefs 
regarding conditional immortality. Unfortunately 
for him, his mission board does not agree with these 
beliefs. How easy it would be for ACGC to welcome 
him into our family! It probably wouldn't cost too 
much, and we'd have a whole new mission field 
opened up for us. . . a whole new continent! All it 
would take is just a little more belt-tightening, just a 
little more effort. (Are we straining yet?) 

Churches face similar opportunities. I once pastored 
a church in a community full of young families. The 
need for a good licensed day-care ministry was obvi- 
ous. As a church we were in an ideal position to pro- 
vide this service. Several ladies in the congregation 
attended a state-sponsored workshop to explore the 
possibilities. After several meetings and much prayer 
we concluded that a pre-school wasn't a ministry we 
wanted to pursue. The ladies were willing. We had 
the facilities. The market was ripe. But no one felt 



any sense of the Lord's leading us into this ministry. 
Just because we could do it didn't mean we should 
do it. That decision was an uncommonly mature 
choice by a congregation to avoid strain. I wonder 
how many VBS's, revival services, homecomings, 
and cantatas are straining church members, simply 
because they believe "if the ministry doesn't kill me 
it will make me stronger. And if the ministry doesn't 
almost kill me it's not worth doing." 

Advent Christian General Conference is straining 
today. ACGC's three directors struggle to provide 
the same types of service that were once provided by 
more than nine directors. Not too long ago the de- 
partment of publications had five full-time employ- 
ees. Today there's just one. And each day brings new 
opportunities to do just a little bit more, to work just 
a little bit harder because we know that "if the min- 
istry doesn't almost kill me it's not worth doing." 

In my recent attempts to return to training for a 
triathlon I purchased a heart rate monitor. 1 also 
checked out a library book that explains how check- 
ing one's heart rate can be used to improve exercise. 
Imagine my shock when I discovered that training 
at one's maximum heart rate is counterproductive! 
Apparently the body works optimally at 60 to 80 
percent of its limits. When an athlete's heart rate 
reaches 90 percent, his body stops burning fat, and 
lactic acid begins to build up in his muscles. So now, 
if I really want to successfully complete a triathlon, 
I've got to teach myself to stop pushing the lim- 
its. I've got to convince myself that Nietzsche was 
wrong; whatever doesn't kill me may not make me 
stronger, it may just make me tired. 

If I don't listen to my doctor and avoid straining the 
results could be fatal. I wonder if the same is true 
for churches, conferences, regions, and denomina- 
tional offices. 'fr 



21 



7b Tsdom 



By Sharon Oster 






P''^^'^'"''" 


"^IM 


^ 








m 


F . 


m 


^ 


T^he night before Mo 
-L thoughts and emoti 


m died I laid in bed with 
ons swirling in my mind. 






Knowing that the end v^ 


'as near, I realized I needed to 


«^ ^ 


f M 




ixxy UllC llllal gOOGDVe. 

and past conversations 


Numerous thoughts, memories 
sngulfed me as I laid there 


If 


^k *« 


KffmKm^.w-r,---' 


wondering how you sur 


nup a 


lifetime with someone 




^ / .: 




1Tltr\ r\n£i -fit-iol rTi-\/-\/^l-\T r/!i 








mio one nnai gooaoye. 


Ine nexi mornmg i caiiea aaa 




7 


^ii 




■~'~——— 


to give him a final mess 


age to give to mom. It was 




k. 




tougher then I expected 
polished paragraphs we 


to get the words out and my '^ 
re suddenly reduced to three 


W A 


fe^ 


— 


sentences. It's the secon 


d sentence I want to share 


¥ 




^ 


witH you anH^expIain. 


■m 




w- 


'Tell mom I'm proud 


1 








i 


f- 


ofher," I said. While ^' 








f~ 


I had a specific rea- 


p 1 


,%.-.- 


m 


f 


son for saying that, 
I couldn't explain it 


\i 


\^ 


w~ 


then. Now I can. 


im^m 




_^ 


k 


■^as proud of mom""""^ 
For finishing the race. 
[t was not the image of 
ler weak frail body that 


ippr ,:m>m>^-^ 




^^ 


^ 


:ame to mind when I th( 
NQ think of three things 
rhat is why the athlete i 


Dught of Mom, but it was the ima 

One who has trained, one who i 

s a suitable image for mom. First 


ge of an athlete. Whe 
s focused and one wh 
, she trained. Though 


n we think of an ic 
has crossed the f 
she had been in th 


leal athl 
niish-lin 
e churcl" 


or many years, it was th 


le cane 
lecan 


:er that gave new perspecti 


WBWBBiii 


alk with the Lord. 


A refini 


Drocess had begun. As tl 


:er progressed and she had 


to stop work a new m 


/ork began, but it 1 


)egan w 


raining. Mom said she i 


leeded to know Jesus, REALLY 


know him, and so she 


trained. She read 


the bible 


hrough cover-to-cover t 


wice. She developed a prayer lift 


I with new fervor. Thi 


s training refined 1 


ler and 


enewed her. 


_-« _ yf , 1 /T ttT~"l, ™„-,i? J A 1 








■*aul writes in 2 Corinth 


ans 4: 1 6, Therefore we do not 1 


ose heart. Though out 


wardly we are was 


ting aw 


^et inwardly we are bein 


g renewed day by day." 









I was faithful 



A WORD FROM 
OUR PRESIDENT 



The words echoed in my mind after many years. "I am will- 
ing, Lord, to be just exactly what you want me to be." How 
I remember this song from my college days, its simple, yet 
powerful message always tugging at my heart. I wasn't pre- 
pared for its return. As I wrestled with the invitation to serve as 
Interim President of the Advent Christian General Conference, 
I couldn't escape its magnitude. 

Only a matter of months away from completing my tenure on 
the Executive Council, I was faced with a decision that would 
extend my service for another year. I had put in my time, paid 
my dues, given myself to the task. It was time for someone else 
to serve. Until that song! Was I really willing to be just exactly 
what He wanted me to be? Then the words of a hymn from my 
ordination service came to mind. "O Jesus, I have promised, 
to serve Thee until the end..." Inundated with songs from my 
past, the Lord was speaking more clearly than I wanted. 

My inner struggles with this decision held a similar conclusion 
to the skirmishes of the soul faced by Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, 
and other biblical personalities, including Jesus. There was no 
other decision. It wasn't about my will. It is always about the 
Lord's will. If I was unwilling to do what the Lord asked, how 
could I call myself His servant? 

In this new calling, I resonate with Mary's response to God's 
will. "I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have 
said" (Lk. 1 :38). My prayer is that the Lord will "give me grace 
to follow. My Master and my Friend." 

May the Lord's blessing rest upon every servant throughout the 
Advent Christian Church as we begin our journey together! Ij' 



Rev. Glenn Rice is pastor of Oak Hill Bible Church (AC) in 
Oxford, Mass. He is president of the Eastern Regional Associa- 
tion and was appointed interim-president ofACGC to serve the 
remainder of Rev. Ronald Thomas, Jr 's term. 




^M I 



crip turesj ^ 



A good friend of mine was delivered from heroin addiction, by the power of God; but, oddly 
enough, he finds that quitting smoking is very difficult. A few well-meaning Christians think they 
can help motivate smokers to quit by frightening them with 1 Corinthians 3:16-17: 

"Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the 
Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man defiles the temple of God, 
God will destroy him. ..." (NKJ). 

I certainly don't recommend smoking, but I believe that is a mistaken application of those verses. 
It is not threatening lung cancer as Divine retribution (although lung problems may, of course, be a 
natural consequence of smoking). 

Paul's meaning can be seen in the context. He uses an extended analogy, calling the Corinthian 
congregation "God's building" (3:9), referring to himself a "master builder" who laid the "foundation" 
by preaching Christ (3:1 0-11). He speaks of other gospel ministers (such as Apollos, 3:5-6) who built 
upon the foundation (3:12), and how their good work will be tested and rewarded by the Lord (3:13- 
14). On the other hand, he says that poor-quality ministry will not be rewarded; such a minister, who 
belongs to Christ, will only barely be saved - like a man emerging from a burning house, without 
any possessions (3:15). 

Then, Paul gives an even sterner warning: "Don't you realize that all of you together are the temple 
of God. ..God will bring ruin upon anyone who ruins this temple..." (3:16-17 NLT). The Greek word 
for "you" in verse 16 is plural, and the New Living Translation helps us see that. In the King James 
Version and American Standard Version, the old English plural "ye" is used (somewhat like the 
southern expression "you all"). Paul is picturing all the Corinthian believers as living stones in one 
spiritual temple, i.e., a Christian church (cf. 1 Peter 2:4-5). 

Elsewhere in the same letter, in 6:18-20, Paul does speak of the individual Christian's body as a 
temple of God, and he warns against involving it in sexual immorality. But in 3:16 Paul refers to the 
larger temple - the church - and how a false teacher might defile, destroy, or ruin it. 

For example, false teachers have ruined churches by teaching a false gospel, or promoting immorality. 
Those who destroy a church in such a way are in danger of eventually experiencing eternal destruc- 
tion (cf. Matthew 7:13,15-23; 10:28; Galatians 1:8; 2 Peter 2:1 -3; Jude 3-13). To misappropriate this 
warning and apply it to smokers is clearly a misuse of the Scriptures. 'fr 

Rev. Tom Warner is currently a chaplain with Ministry to the Aged, serving retirement homes and 
care centers in Boise, Idaho. 



igs hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people 
twist to their own destruction" (z Peter j.i6 NKIV] . ' 



12 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 



13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 



27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 



MARK 16:15 



40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 



Put an A in lines 7, 18, 24, 40, 46 

Put a C in lines 25, 43 

Put a D in lines 17, 20, 33 

Put an E in lines 12, 23, 29, 35, 45 

PutaG in lines 1, 30 

Put an H in lines 11, 26, 28 

Put an I in lines 3, 48 

Put an Lin lines 8, 9, 16,41, 42 

Put an N in lines 4, 19, 34, 50 

Put an O in lines 2, 6, 14, 31 , 32, 39, 49 

Put a Pin line 21 

Put an Rin lines 15, 22,44 

Put an S in line 37 

Put a T in lines 5, 10, 27, 38, 47 

Put a Win lines 13, 36 

plowe^y tn/ AprMOgp (potted/y on/tree^, hxA^he^, 

Find the letters these letters represent. Once a letter is decoded, it remains the 
same throughout the list. Look for recurring combinations of letters or repeated let- 
ters. (Hint: G=A) 

GPGBQG BLBE JGWLHSBX IQANRLG 

IGRKE XGDDSXLB XGRXQBLSR XSHVSSX 

VLKAQWLG ANBLI 




Answers are given at the bottom of the next page 




Except ye become P.S (((([f- OljilfilY-li, ye shall not 
enter Into the kingdom of heaven." 



I not 1^1 



Find the words below 
that are associated with 
Easter. 

ANGEL 

BASKET 

BUNNY 

EASTER 

EGG 

FLOWER 

HOPE 

JESUS 

LIFE 

SPRING 

SUNRISE 



B 


F 


L 


O 


S 


L 


E 


S 


B 


u 


N 


N 


A 


U 


O 


G 


E 


E 


A 


P 


U 


K 


G 


J 


Y 


N 


N 


G 


R 


1 


C 


u 


N 


E 


G 


S 


L 


1 


N 


A 


N 


S 


B 


Y 


N 


A 


E 


G 


B 


A 


S 


K 


E 


T 


E 


A 


Y 


N 


S 


P 


A 


S 


P 


T 


G 


H 


J 


A 


S 


L 


R 


O 


R 


E 


W 


O 


L 


F 


Y 


U 


S 


T 


1 


G 


J 


P 


s 


P 


F 


A 


N 


B 


Y 


T 


O 


N 


E 


O 


N 


u 


L 


R 


A 


S 


K 


P 


E 


1 


S 


H 


W 


p 


1 


A 


E 


F 


1 


L 


O 


R 


H 


O 


O 


s 


U 


P 


R 


H 


O 


U 


E 


P 


S 


U 


E 


G 


S 


J 


E 


S 


u 


S 


P 


S 



J 


J 


S 


E 


P 


S 


R 


U 


A 


S 


Y 


H 


H 


A 


M 


S 


T 


R 


1 


1 


B 


S 


L 


E 


O 


N 


N 


F 


M 


R 


C 


O 


^ 


M 


Y 


T 


1 


H 


V 


E 


R 


D 


H 


E 


A 


A 


M 


D 



Cross out every other 
letter, beginning witli 
tlie first letter, to find 
the Easter IVIessage . 




djini 'EuaisiM 'pooMBop 'uoiiapuBp 'Hpoyep 'Asued 'Bjuniad 'pioBueuj 'Am 'eaieze :sja/wsuv 



Red 



refrigerators 






by Rev. Earl Wright 



28 



It all began with just talking about our need for a new refrigera- 
tor. The old one in the apartment upstairs ("the penthouse") was 
giving us trouble. It frosted up much too quickly and the freezer 
compartment hung down in the back. 

After discussing the options, we decided to move the one from 
downstairs to the apartment upstairs and to buy a larger one for 
downstairs, where the cooking is done for the common dinner 
each day. A larger refrigerator would come in handy for storing 
more food. 

Later, Martha and I went to a shopping complex in downtown 
Chennai to buy medicines and food. Seeing an appliance store, 
Martha said she wanted to look for a washing machine. We in- 
spected the washing machines, noting prices; but the length of 
their washing cycles was too long. So, we went over to look at 
refrigerators. We found a model that was suitable for the needs of 
our bungalow, but decided not to buy it. We've learned that it's 
always better to check with our consulting engineer about buying 
such items because he has connections that often allow us to get 
what we need at a better price. 

After discussing it with Arulanandam, the engineer, we three 
resident missionaries went to an appliance store where he had a 
contact. We looked at several models, but decided on the same 
model we'd seen earlier at the shopping complex. The floor model 
was a blue one, and that seemed a bit too strange for our taste. 
The salesman assured us that he could get the same model in off 
white. We scheduled delivery for Monday and gave him a down 
payment, promising the balance at the time of delivery. 

Monday arrived and the appliance salesman telephoned to say 
the model we wanted was not currently available in white. He 
offered to bring us a red one. We told him we definitely didn't 
want red! He promised to get a white one for us in a few days. 
The days passed and the salesman called again. He couldn't 
get a white one, but offered again to deliver a red one. We said, 
"No thanks." 

Ernie Schache and I visited another appliance store. They 
had the refrigerator model that we wanted, and the salesman 
assured us that he'd seen a white one in their warehouse. We 
asked him to deliver it C.O.D. They next day the salesman 




called to explain he was having trouble finding a 
white refrigerator; only red ones were currently 
available from the supplier. However, he thought 
he might be able to get a white one from one of 
their other stores, if we didn't mind waiting a day 
or two. We happily agreed to that. 



Two days later, the salesman informed us that no white refrig- 
erators were available, but the people at that store assured us 
they could get the color we wanted in a couple more days. 

While all of this was going on, the Whirlpool people tele- 
phoned several times wanting to know when they could come 
out and demonstrate the features of our new refrigerator. We 
kept telling them we didn't have one yet. 

Immanuel, who works in our office, was aware of our frustrated 
attempts to find a new refrigerator and he went to another appli- 
ance store. There he found an earlier model of the same brand 
we wanted - and it was white! Not only that; it was actually a 
more deluxe model and cost less than the original model we'd 
ordered. 

Immanuel made arrangements for us to get our new Whirlpool 
refrigerator, deluxe model. We were told it would be delivered the 
next day at a lower price. We thanked Immanuel for his efforts 
and said our goodbyes. 

A half hour later the doorbell rang. Two young men had arrived 
with a refrigerator. It was the model we wanted and it had come 
from the second store we'd visited. The only problem was that 
we had no knowledge of this delivery and arrangements had 
already been made to get a different one; so, unfortunately, we 
had to send it back. 

Life, at times, has its difficult moments and its amusing moments 
as well. Living in India, we are never quite sure what the next 
moment will bring. But we're sure of this: the One who holds 
our moments can be trusted to supply what we need. 

We never saw the refrigerator they brought that night. Martha 
asked me about it and she wondered if it might have been a red 
one after all! 'ij'. 




OJ^^- 



]IJ 



]] 



Our ndsiioiiarlcs in India anL 
ncfvierqiiiteinre _ 

tHiey've 



iced. 







MMMm. 



M»^^m>>^s, 



; m 




mm-m 




Recently a friend of mme shared an artiek with me that 
was written by George Winslow the President of Ruritan 
Clubs of America. I want to share some ideas from that article 
with you since Ruritan seems to be facing some of the same 
challenges we in WHFMS are facing. 




He writes about how 30 years ago, General Motors Corporation was one of the greatest worldwide success stories. Ten years 
later, it wasn't. And it took another ten years before GM made the decision to stop looking back at what was the best of times, 
but to look ahead and follow the road to greater success. They called it the Road to Redemption. They soon realized that in 
order to turn the corner to go down this Road to Redemption that change would have to occur. They would have to break out 
of their own self-buiU "gridlock". It was not going to be easy because change is almost always a painful process, a process that 
most of us resist. GM's wakeup call was a call to a "gospel of quality". For ten very productive but painful years, GM's Road to 
Redemption grew throughout the organization. The journey began with turning that one major corner, the turnaround decision, 
then continuing onward along the Road to Redemption. 

Just as GM first recognized the need, then actively chose the Road to Redemption, so must WHFMS. As was true for GM, the 
hardest part of the journey will be breaking out of our own self-built "grid-lock" throughout the entire WHFMS organization 
from Local, Conference, and Regional levels all the way to the National Board. We must face the fact that unless we choose to 
turn the corner and look forward that our organization will cease to be. We cannot afford the luxury of holding onto and glori- 
fying our past successes. This process will not be easy or painless but it can become our greatest success story ever. 

Let us all pray together, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done," as we begin this process together. Your National Board wants 
to provide the "right leadership" to lead us down this road. We are looking for ways to re-vitalize our organization as we look 
forward to the future. We have already begun the journey. Whether we continue around the corner on the Road to Redemption 
will depend on the good work and cooperation of all WHFMS members. Will you be a stepping-stone for change or a stumbling 
block of resistance? The WHFMS Road to Redemption depends on your answer. 

In 1976, WHFMS was dissolved as a corporation and through restructuring became an organization part of and subject to the 
jurisdiction of the Advent Christian General Conference of America, Inc. At that time 3,300 Advent Christian women were ac- 
tive in over 215 locals. Today that membership has dropped to 1,365 members in 103 locals. If this decline continues WHFMS 
will cease to be within the next 25 years. The future direction of WHFMS will be addressed at our 2005 Triennial Convention 
at Founder's Inn in Virginia Beach, Virginia. 

I heard a group called the Martins sing a song the other day that reminded me of the decisions we are facing and how God is 
already "Wherever You Are". 

Are you standing at a crossroad wondering which road you should take 

And you're dreading the decision and a possible mistake 

But the will of God won't lead you where the grace of God can't keep you 

You will never be out of His care, remember that the Lord's already there 

You are waiting to hear thunder and see lightening in the sky 
Oh, but God can work His wonders through a still small voice inside 

Just keep listening and learning and continue on your journey 
Following the One who is the way. He's the only road you need to take 

Wherever you are, wherever you're going, God is right there beside you 

Seeing and knowing, wherever you go He already knows 

What lies ahead and what's behind 

You'll always find He's never too far from wherever you are 

We all know that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is our redemption, the only road we need to take. He commissioned all of us 
that believe in Him to go and tell the world about this redemption. What can we do as an organization to enable Advent Chris- 
tian women to help fulfill this Great Commission? We want to hear from you, the women of the Advent Christian Denomina- 
tion. Please write to me and let me know your thoughts and opinions on what we can do to revitalize the Woman's Home and 
Foreign Mission Society. Do we need a new name, a new logo, a new image or something else? Send your letters to: Randee 
Davis, 2201 Old Farm Road, Hudson, N.C. 28645. We know that we can't become what we need to be by remaining what we 
are. Let's all join together as we journey down our own Road to Redemption. 'fr 



31 



After a complete sellout of the first printing 
In less than three years, this second edition^ is 
scheduled to be available in 2004, with a re- 
tail price of $18.00. 

Call Venture Bookstore, 800-676-0694, to 
reserve your order at a pre-publication pric 
of $12.00. "^ 



«Opi 



I. .1,11, ..I. I. In. .11,1,, I. 



Christian 




.>Ha»A. 






y 



^ \ 



/• 







■ptirsty?. 



\. 



Witness 



Volume 52, Issue 3 

www.adventchristian.org 

1-800-676-0694 



Editor 
Keith Wheaton 

Assistant Editor 
Jan Thomas 

Contributing Editor 
Tom Warner 

Proofreader 
Kathy Wheaton 

Women 's Ministry Editor 
Randee Davis 



Advent Christian 
General Conference 



Julia Brock Missions Secretary 

lVorldMissions@adventchristian.org 
Nancy Brooks Exec. Director Secretary 

ExecDirect@adventchristian.org 
Shirley Efird Bookkeeper 

Trena Efird Missions Secretary 

WorldMissions@fldventchristian.org 
Helen Hagler Printer/Mailroom 

Amy Johnson Bookkeeper 

Donna Martin Printer/Mailroom 

Harold Patterson World Missions Director 

WorldMissions@adventchristian.org 
Tina Pressley Venture Bookstore 

Venture@adventchristian. org 
Mary Ritchie Church Relations Secretary 

MaryRitchie@fldventchristian.org 
John Roller Urban/Ethnic & Resource Center 

JRoller@fldventchristian. org 
Dawn Russell Venture Bookstore 

Venture@adventchristian.org 
Richard Russell Church Relations Director 

ChurchRelations@adventchristian.org 
Dawn Rutan Information Services 

DRutan@fldventchristian. org 
Jim Smith Finance/Services 

Services@fldventchristian. org 
Jan Thomas Assistant Editor 

Jan Thomas@acgc, us 
Ron Thomas Executive Director 

ExecDirect@adventchristian.org 

Keith Wheaton Publications Coordinator 

Keith@acgc.us 



International Missionaries 



Area Directors: 

Scott Dombrosky — Latin 

America/Short-Term Missions 

sdombrosky@comcast. net 

John Gilbert — Team Leader 

john(a),99plus l.org 

Frank Jewett — Europe/Africa 

jjewett@megalink. net 

John Roller — Urban/Ethnic 

jroller@adventchristian.org 

Clio Thomas — Asia/Pacific 

cliowestva@msn. com 

Honduras 

David Vignali (5/10) 

c/o Teen Missions 

P.O.Box 4094 

San Pedro Sula 

HONDURAS 

tmihondu(a),netsys. hn 

Liberia 

Abraham David 

Advent Christian Church 

P.O. Box 4669 

Monrovia, LIBERIA 

advent_christian@yahoo.com 

Malaysia 

Victor and Nesamony 

Devadason, 

Beaulah Margreat Devasa- 

hayam 

Al-Shadai lUam 

No. 24 Jalan Pandan 12 

Taman Dato Horniat 42500 

Teluk Panglima Garang 

K. Langat, Selangor 

MALAYSIA 

bethel 3 5 7@hotmail. com 

James and Mercy Devadas- 
son 

20 Jalan Intan 4 

Taman Intan 

86000 Kluang, Johor 

MALAYSIA 

adventchristian@ holmail. 

com 

Ruth Devairakkam 

36 Jalan 14/2 
Taman Sri Kluang 
86000 Kluang, Johor 
MALAYSIA 

ruthdevairakkam(a), holmail. 
com 



Philippines 

Jeff and Penny Vann 

(7/14 & 5/12; Elizabeth, 
10/24; Connie, 3/29; 
Naomi, 10/11) 
P.O. Box 223 
9000 Cagayan de Oro 
Philippines 
Jefjvann(g), acgc. us 
pennyvann@acgc. us 

Grant Aldridge (7/27) 

PO. Box 223 

9000 Cagayan de Oro 

Philippines 

aldridge@home.philcom.ph 



National Missionaries 

Memphis 

Francis and Lyne Ssebi- 

kindu 

2175 Carrollwood 
Cordova, TN 38018 
fssebikindu@ worldnet. 
att.net 

Mexico 

Joel and Omega Garcia 

(La Purisima) 

c/o John Gilbert 

RO. Box 9019 SF 168 

Calexico, CA9223I-9019 

John@99plusI.org 

Juan "Martin" Camacho 
Valdez 

c/o John Gilbert 
PO. Box 9019 
Calexico, CA 9223 1-90 19 

Miguel and Maria Mena 

c/o John Gilbert 

PO. Box 9019 SF 168 

Calexico, CA 9223 1-90 1 9 

China 

All correspondence should 
be channeled through the 
missions office. 



India 

Earl and Martha Wright 

(4/16 & 10/17) 
P.O. Box 3164 
Guindy Chennai 600 032 
wright@md3. vsnl. net. in 

Ernie Schache (1/29) 

RO. Box 3 164 
Guindy Chennai 600 032 
INDIA 
ernieschache@vsnl. net 



Ghana 
Simon Bissah 

A.C.C. 

RO. Box 604 

Nsawam, Eastern Region 

Ghana 

simbissah@yahoo.com 

Namibia 

Moses Angbongy 

RO. Box 25473 

Soweto 

Windhoek, NAMIBIA 

blessedhope62@hotmail. 

com 

New Zealand 
David Burge 

12 Bettina Place 

Manurewa 

Auckland, NEW ZEALAND 

dburge@slingshot. co. nz 

Nigeria 

E. H. Ekperikpe 

Ukot Udoabia PA. 
Etinan L.G.A. 
Akwa Ibom State 
NIGERIA 
ekperiesima@yahoo. com 

South Africa 
Nathan Fernando 

14 Dick MuUer Drive 
Norkem Park 1 620 
S.AFRICA 2028 
nathankf@e.xcite. org 



Croatia 
Desire Ahola 

RO. Box 29 

Nova Gradiska 

35400 CROATIA 

ahola. desire@sh. hinet. hr 
.idvent Christian Witness (ISSN #0741-4302) is published bimonthly by the Advent Christian General Conference of 
America, 1 460 1 Albemarle Rd., P.O. Box 23 1 52, Charlotte, NC 28227. Subscription rates in the United States and Canada: 
One year $15.00. Single copy $2,75. Overseas rate, one year $18.00. Periodicals postage paid at Charlotte. NC. and ad- 
ditional mailing offices. POSTMASTER; Send address changes to Advent Christian Witness, P.O. Box 23 1 52, Charlotte, 
NC 28227. Printed in Canada. 

As the official publication of the Advent Christian General Conference, the Advent Christian Witness publishes the 
teachings of the Advent Christian Church and promotes the task of disciple-making both in North America and around the 
world. The views expressed in this magazine are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those of the editor or 
the Advent Christian General Conference. Member: Evangelical Press Association. Copyright C' 2004. 



From the Editor 




'^ 



The Neglected Art of Hospitality 

"Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show 
hospitality..." (Hebrews 13:1-2 ESV) 

When it comes to hospitality, my Mom is an undisputed 
champion. I can't recall a Sunday or holiday when she and Dad 
didn't invite company to our house. My memories of Thanks- 
giving and Christmas dinners feature the faces of friends and 
strangers gathered to eat around our ping-pong table, with the 
overflow seated in nearby couches and loveseats. If you were 
coming for Thanksgiving, Mom would inquire about your 
favorite pie and prepare it for dessert. Our unhealed porch was 
quite chilly during November in Maine, so it became our walk- 
in cooler, holding a great variety of pies. 

After college, my wife and I spent fifteen years in the pastorate. 
Despite the typical ups and downs of ministry, we found our 
congregations to be supportive and loving for the most part. 
However, we weren't prepared for one particular disappoint- 
ment in church life: a lack of hospitality. There were happy 
exceptions in each congregation; but generally we were not 
invited into our member's homes. 

We had both grown up in rural churches that thrived on hospi- 
tality. In the church of my youth there was a weekly competi- 
tion to see who could have the pastors over for Sunday dinner. 
And hospitality wasn't limited to pastors or to Sunday after- 
noons. Many college students and servicemen found them- 
selves adopted by church families who provided them with 
better nourishment than any restaurant could offer. 

I once assumed that all churches practiced the kind of hospital- 
ity I'd seen growing up at State Road Advent Christian Church. 
I was wrong. Since the time my family first attended our 
present church until now (when some might call us longtime 
members), we've only been invited to two families' homes. 

(Continued on page 25) 



Contents 



Desperate Thirst 4 

Rev. Clayton Blackstone 

Mountaintop Experience: Fifty Years 

at Camp IVIaranatha 6 

Jody Evans 

Free Indeed! 16 

Rev. Rex D. Hutto 

Be Present at our Table, Lord 22 

Rev. Canon Charles M. Priebe, Jr. 

A Word From Our President 24 

Rev. Glenn Rice 

As Children 26 

Dawn Russell 

Created for Ministry... Also! 28 

Randee Davis 



race 



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..« 't^^^y ■ .: ■ ....il^iiillili^^lK^k^^^^ 




'^ ^ Rev. Clayton Blackstone 


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V\/e hold these truths to he self-evident, " 
the framers of the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence wrote. "All men are created 
equal and endowed by their Creator 
with certain unalienable Rights, that 
among them are Life, Liberty and the 

pursuit of Happiness. " 

4 



Since the dawn of time, that pursuit of happiness has 
^driven much of what humans do. We change jobs, 
'take expensive vacations, and indulge in extreme ad- 
venture sports. We seek experiences. Ecstasy. Any- 
thing to fill the insatiable thirst of our spirits. We 
crave something to put a smile on our faces, a song 
on our lips and a skip in our steps. And we want it so 
badly we can taste it. 




1^ 



Once upon a time, in a land far away, another pursued hap- 
piness with a similar intensity, with resources we can only 
imagine at his disposal. He devoted himself to study. He 
read the best authors. Sat at the feet of the wisest teachers. Set out 
to see firsthand everything people had accomplished. And when he 
had read it all, seen it all, done it all, he concluded that he had 
wasted his energy "chasing the wind." 



He turned his attention to pleasure. He savored the best 
wines. Employed a houseful of servants to attend to 
every whim. Parlayed a bank account of millions into 
a portfolio worth billions. Spent every evening with a 
different beautiful lady in his bed. He "denied himself 
nothing his heart desired." But in the end, the hole 
remained. He "gained nothing." 

(Continued on page 13) 




MARANATHA 



VislPiM \K \i\Alll \ 



Adxcnl Christian Conterein.L i ■{ clOS 
S,HUhernCal,to,„,a Bl CCI USA 

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As Camp Maranatha celebrated its fiftieth anniversary, 
Jody Beggs Reeves (now Evans) was as/cecf to compile 
and edit memories and stories from a variety of people 
whose lives have been changed by their time at the 
camp. The following are excerpts from the book she 
published. 



The Advent Christian Conference of Southern CaHfomia had been holding camp meetings at Camp Carls- 
bad in Carlsbad, California, beginning in the early 1920s. The beach property ran alongside the railroad 
track and the highway. The only permanent building was a kitchen/dining room. 

Ed Jaffarian, a building contractor from New England, had moved his family and his business to Pasadena at 
the end of World War II. As a member of the Pasadena church, he wanted to improve the camp and offered 
to either build an auditorium on the grounds at Carlsbad or help the conference find another campground. 
Soon Ed began taking a group of conference representatives to various locations under consideration. One 
of these was four to five miles off the Ortega highway and so primitive it didn't even have water. Another 
was between the Cajon Pass and Big Bear Lake. It had been a monastery and had some basic facilities. They 
also looked at a piece of land in Gamer Valley (between Anza and Idyllwild). 

It was after looking at the Gamer Valley site that the men noticed the sign to Idyllwild and decided to follow 
Highway 243 to the small mountain village. Entering Idyllwild, they stopped at a real estate office and met 
Jerry Johnson. When asked if there might be some property in Idyllwild suitable for a campground, he took 
them to a tract of land, which had been used for a sawmill. There were five buildings on the property: a large 
two-story building (the original Big Pine Lodge), an office building (now remodeled as the Snack Bar and 
Ice Cream Parlor), a three bedroom home (used as a residence for the first manager, it is now called the Staff 
Lodge), a smaller one-room building with a fireplace (the original Ponderosa), and a mill shed. 

"There's an $1 1,000 mortgage on the property and the owner needs an additional $7,500 to start a business. 
I think he would take $18,500 for this," said Jerry indicating the surrounding 20 acres. 

"Let's see if he will consider selling for $17,000," said Ed, writing a personal check in that amount. "We 
would like a written response in the next few days." 

A few days later, Ed informed Frank Scott, Conference President and Pastor of the Tustin church, that the 
conference now owned a beautiful piece of land in the San Jacinto Mountains — though he never would say 
if the original offer was accepted or if he had to pay more. 

Jerry Johnson also handled an adjoining tract of about 3.5 acres, which includes the ball field. At a later 
date, he offered it to the conference for $3,000 saying he had tumed down $5,000 for it as he disapproved 



of the way it would be used. The conference officials thought it would be a nice addition and bought it even 
though they were a little skeptical about the $5,000 offer. 

Years later, when Errol Hunt was talking to the local dairyman, the man commented that he offered Jerry 
Johnson $5,000 for that tract of land so he could expand his dairy and that Jerry refused to sell to him. We 
used to think the stables and their rodeos were inconvenient neighbors when they occupied the area where 
the lumberyard and county road department are now located. How would you like to have a dairy cover- 
ing the ball field, half the dining hall and half the area for the cabins of Building #1? Let's hear it for honest 
realtors! 

Not everyone was pleased with leaving the beach in Carlsbad. A few still say it was a mistake and those who 
were there cherish fond memories of those camp meetings at the beach. One notable opponent to the camp 
in Idyllwild was Pastor Osborne of the Los Angeles church. He referred to it sarcastically as "the Camp in 
the Sky." It must be said, however, that once he had a chance to visit the site, he changed his tune and be- 
came a great supporter. 

The first camp meeting was held at Camp Maranatha in 1951. Most of the people stayed in tents. The Tab- 
ernacle (tent) from Carlsbad was used as a meeting place. The dining hall was under construction. One end 
of it was used for eating while the other was being roofed. When the roofing of that end was finished, it was 
used for eating while the other end was being completed. 

Errol and Juanita moved to Camp Maranatha in 1951. Errol was chainnan of the Board of Trustees of the 
Tustin church during the building of the present parsonage. That had provided him with experience in secur- 
ing surplus government property, which he put to good use in obtaining much of the original equipment and 
building materials for the camp. He seemed to be the man for the hour to get the camp ready for use and was 
selected by the conference as camp manager. 





No one in our group could recall who the speakers were for the camps in 195 1 and 1952. Rick Drew, the 
new pastor of the San Diego church, was the speaker for 1953. Carl Fromhold was the song leader. Meetings 
were still being held in the big tent from Carlsbad. 

The camp manager reported directly to the Conference Board of Trustees until the conference decided to 
appoint a Camp Management Committee with its own treasurer as a more efficient way to manage the con- 
struction and operations of the camp. 

To the best of our collective memory, we know Leroy Connelly was on this original committee and served 
as long as he lived. Others who were probably on the committee include Sim Draper, Al Schmekel, Chuck 
Anderson, and Adlai Bowden. 

Volunteers did almost all the original construction and preparation of the grounds. Roy and Estelle Peterson, 
of Los Angeles church, did much of the work on the cement block buildings. They had many helpers whose 
names we wish we could record. We do remember that Roy built the circle around the flagpole. Some mem- 
bers of the Anderson family of San Diego built the fireplaces in the Dining Hall and Ponderosa.^ 



Prepared from tapes of a conversation between Errol and Juan ita Hunt, John Palmer, and Walter Shirley 
that took place about 1990. Errol and Juanita were the managers of the camp from the time it started in 
1951 until 1971. 



1 Corinthian's 13 

Camp 

Maranatha's 

summer staff 

style 




If we could creosote all the railings around the camp in an hour, but didn't care about each other, our 

speed would mean nothing. 
If we could cut croutons, make granola, and slice tomatoes with a wave of our hand and weren't po- 
lite and kind to the little kids, our magic would be worthless. And if we could dig ditches, sweep the 
volleyball court, and split firewood without getting tired, but didn't have a loving, serving attitude, 
our strength and endurance would be of no value at all. 

Love is patient when the campers are late for their first meal because the bus broke down. 

Love is kind when a camper needs special food because of allergies. 

Love is grateful when we are invited to various homes for a progressive dinner. 

Love is not irritable when we have to work extra hard before the health inspector comes. 

Love is not jealous when the boys get to make dump runs and the girls have to clean bathrooms. 

Love is appreciative when we get a weekend off to go to the beach. 

Love is compassionate when a cut finger means a trip to the local paramedics. 

Love is understanding when college-student staff members need to leave before summer is over. 

Carrot sticks, fruit trays, and punch on the tables will come to an end, but love is eternal. 

General clean-up, working in the snack bar, and covering the pool will come to an end, but love never 

will. Daily devotions, weekly staff meetings, and raiding the walk-in will come to an end, but love is 

forever. Every year summer comes to an end, but love is everlasting. 

Before we came to work at Camp Maranatha we weren't sure what to expect. But we have learned 
that a servant's heart and a thankful attitude are values we can take with us the rest of our lives. 

These three things we will continue to learn: service, patience and love. 
But the greatest of these is love. 



10 



Bibles, toilets, lizards and the joy of service 

by John Tate 

The gentle whirring of the 
golf cart and wind blow- 
ing through my hair inspired 
me with a sense of freedom as 
I steered my way to the North 
End. A fistful of staff keys made 
me flush with feelings of re- 
sponsibility and authority. And 
the stiffening smell of the Pine- 
0-Lav I was about to splash 
around the upper end bathrooms 
kept me grounded firmly in real- 
ity. 

As 1 pulled up to the bathhouse 

and parked my sled (that green 

three-wheeler monster was one 

sweet ride), 1 was undaunted by 

the prospect of muddy floors, 

unflushed toilets, and dirty sinks 

that were holding onto hair as if it were dear life itself It was a sunny, breezy Thursday morning, and 1 

couldn't think of anywhere I'd rather be. 

After making a trip to the storage room, which, of course, was only accessible to those at the highest level of 
authority, I headed for the girls' bathroom. I gave two firm blows to the door and then, with all the manliness 
I could summon, bellowed, "Staff! Anybody in there? I'm here to clean your toilets!" 

The work went quickly and soon I found myself starting in on the boys' side. Why was I so happy? This 
wasn't exactly the stuff of dreams, and yet I was more contented than I imagine any prince or player could 
be. As I began mopping the shower stalls while contemplating this mystery, in ran a little junior camper with 
a Bible in one hand and a lizard in the other. "Could you hold these for a minute? I've got to go pretty bad. 
Thanks, I'm late for Bible class." 

As I stood holding the squirmy reptile in one hand and the Good Book in the other, it became clear to me 
why this caged bird was singing. I was in service, full service, to my King on His campground where He 
was doing His Kingdom work in the lives of so many. What a wonderful feeling of fulfilled purpose entered 
my soul! There was nowhere else I'd rather be. 

I headed back to the kitchen with my heart full of joy, my nostrils enjoying the sweet smell of pine, and my 
head filled with thoughts of volleyball. 1^ 




11 



Camp Maranatha's plans for future ministry 



Camp Maranatha is involved in a modernization pro- 
gram. The following are some of the recent develop- 
ments in which you might be interested. 

In June 2000 the new Big Pine Lodge was completed 
with over 3000 square feet of floor space. It has eight 
sleeping rooms with bathroom/shower facilities 
in each room. Each room can accommodate up to 
5 persons. The Big Pine Lodge also has a spacious 
lounge, which can be used as a meeting place for as 
many as 50 persons. 

The North Lodge is currently under construction and 

about two-thirds completed. When completed, in 

about another year, it will have over 7000 square feet 

of floor space and contain 16 sleeping rooms with 

bathroom/shower facilities in each room. Each room will accommodate as many as 5 persons. It will also have two meeting 

or general purpose rooms. 

Other improvements that have been completed include, but are not limited to: 

1. Public restrooms renovated. 

2. Remodeled one of the cabins into two donnitory style rooms, which sleep 10 per room, and have attached bathroom and 
showers. (The cabin, which is centrally located, had been formerly divided into five rooms and did not have attached bath- 
room/shower facilities.) 

3. Installed new beds in the staff lodge. (The staff lodge is so named because in the summer we used to house our summer 
staff in this building. During the fall, winter and spring the staff lodge is used to house guest groups.) 




The Big Pine Lodge 



Other planned improvements within the next few years include: 

1 . Expand and improve upon the dining hall and kitchen. 

2. Construct a new general purpose, all weather building, which 

will accommodate a worship meeting of up to 300 people 
or basketball/volleyball games. 

3. Relocate the office into a remodeled cabin located near the 
camp's main parking lot. 

The above work is being done primarily by volunteer workers. 
In addition to people from the conference churches we have 
made extensive use of a volunteer organization known as Mobile 
Missionary Assistance Program with headquarters in Southern 
California. 

Keith Shirley and Josh Tate 
Some recent events include: 

1 . Keith Shirley became the camp's director in October 2003 upon 
the retirement of Dick Beggs. 

2. Josh Tate, the son of Rev. Barry Tate and Grandson of the late Rev. Joe Tom Tate, was hired as the assistant director in 
May 2004. 




The modernization program is designed to make the camp more usable all year. When the North Lodge is completed, the 
camp will have 29 rooms with bath facilities, either in the room or the same building, available for public use. This will make 
the camp more appealing to camps comprised of adults, seniors, and couples who typically schedule retreats/conferences dur- 
ing the "offseason" (fall, winter & spring). 'u' 



12 



(Desperate continued) 

He poured himself into his work until he realized that the fruit of his efforts would be left to 
one who would come after him. "And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool?" 
The prospect of leaving the work of his hands to someone who had done nothing left him in 
despair. "Meaningless!" the Teacher cried. 

"There is an emptiness at our core that is like a Black Hole," writes Diogenes Allen, "a black 
hole in space. A Black Hole sucks down all matter, and there is an emptiness in us that threat- 
ens to suck us down as well, although what it is actually doing is dispelling an illusion. It is 
not destroying us, but revealing to us that we are already a dead thing trying to give itself life 
by taking all within its reach. But the core of us remains an emptiness. To be a person, a soul, 
is to need something beyond oneself to live; whatever we can grasp cannot give us life. No 
matter what efforts we make to fill ourselves, we always find ourselves once again empty." 

According to Jesus, it's because we look for the wrong thing in all the wrong places. He star- 
tles us with his declarations. We are on the right track — at least according to him — if we are 
poor in spirit, mourners and meek, qualities our world decrees 
as out of favor. Happiness comes, not by pursuing happiness, 
but on our way to something else. 



You are on the 
right path to 
happiness if you 
hunger and thirst 
after righteous- 
ness. " 



"You are on the right path to happiness if you hunger and thirst 
after righteousness." 



This thing Jesus says ought to be our passion, has a smell of 

theological mustiness to it. But dusted off and spit shined, it's 

a word about relationships— a word about being in harmony 

with God and others. It's a word fleshed out in the summary 

Jesus gave of the Ten Commandments: "You shall love the 

Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all 

your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And 

the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments 

all the law and the prophets depend." (Matthew 22:37-40 NIV) 

"You are blessed when you have worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in 
the best meal you will ever eat." (Matthew 5:6 The Message) 

"Remember your Creator in the days of your youth 
before the days of trouble come and the years ap- 
proach when you will say, T find no pleasure 
In them,'" says the King in Jerusalem who 
declared all else meaningless chasing after 
the wind. "Remember him before the sun 
and the light and the moon and the stars 
grow dark, and the clouds return after 
the rain; when the keepers of the house 
tremble, and the strong men stoop, 
when the grinders cease because they 
are few, and those looking through the 




windows grow dim; when the doors to the street are closed and the sound of grinding fades; 
when men rise up at the sound of birds, but all their songs grow faint; when men are afraid 
of heights and of dangers in the streets; when the almond tree blossoms and the grasshop- 
per drags himself along and desire no longer is stirred. Then man goes to his eternal home 
and mourners go about the streets. Remember him — before the silver cord is severed, or the 
golden bowl is broken; before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, or the wheel broken at the 
well, and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave 
it." (Ecclesiastes 12:1-7) 



"Only one food satisfies," testifies one who chowed down on the best life had to offer, "the 
rest is nothing but junk food." Hungering and thirsting for God isn't so much something we 
work ourselves into as much as it is something we admit to. And it's not something we are 
likely to admit to apart from a bit of fasting from the spiritual chips and salsa, the religious 
candy and the self-help microwave dinners that comprise our usual diet. 

The remarkable thing about our Black Hole hunger lies in the incredible lengths God has 

gone to provide us with food and drink guaranteed 

Susanna knew °^^''*v 



she would die, 
but she wanted 
her daughter to 
live. 



"Mommy I'm so thirsty. I want a drink." 

Susanna Petroysan listened helplessly to her 
daughter's pleas. Tons of collapsed concrete and 
steel trapped she and four-year-old Gayaney. Kar- 
ine, Susanna's sister-in-law, lay beside them, one 
of fifty-five thousand victims in the worst earth- 
quake in Soviet Armenia's history. 



December 7, 1988. 1 1 :30A.M. Susanna had gone to Karine's house to try on a dress. The 
quake struck at 1 1 :41. She had just removed the dress and was wearing only stockings and 
a slip, when the fifth-floor apartment began to shake. The mother grabbed her daughter and 
took a couple of steps. The floor opened. They fell into the basement with the nine-story 
apartment collapsing around them. 




Mommy I need a drink. Please give me something!" 

There was nothing for Susanna to give. 

She was trapped flat on her back. A concrete 
panel eighteen inches above her head and a 
crumpled water pipe above her shoulders 
kept her from standing. Feeling around 
in the darkness, she found a twenty-four 
ounce jar of blackberry jam that had 
fallen into the basement. She gave the en- 
tire jar to her daughter to eat. It was gone 
by the second day. 



"Mommy, I'm so thirsty." 

Susanna knew she would die, but she wanted her daughter to Hve. She found a dress, perhaps 
the one she had come to try on, and made a bed for Gayaney. Though it was bitter cold, she 
took off her stockings and wrapped them around the child to keep her warm. 

The two were trapped for eight days. | 

Because of the darkness, Susanna lost track of time. Because of the cold, she lost the feeling 
in her fingers and toes. Because of her inability to move, she lost hope. "1 was just waiting for 
death." 



She began to hallucinate. Her thoughts wandered. A merciful sleep occasionally freed her 
from the horror of her entombment, but the sleep would be brief. Something always awak- 
ened her: the cold, the hunger, or- most often- the voice of her daughter. 



• Her groping 
fingers, numb from 
cold, found a piece 
of shattered glass. 
She sliced open her 
left index finger 
and gave it to her 
daughter to suck. 



"Mommy, I'm thirsty!" 

At some point in that eternal night, Susanna had an idea. 
She remembered a television program about an explorer 
in the Arctic who was dying of thirst. His comrade 
slashed open his hand and gave his friend his blood. 

"1 had no water, no fruit juice, no liquids. It was then I 
remembered 1 had my own blood." 

Her groping fingers, numb from cold, found a piece of 
shattered glass. She sliced open her left index finger and 
gave it to her daughter to suck. . ^^~~««»-— -^^ 



The drops of blood weren't enough. "Please, Mommy, 
some more. Cut another finger." Susanna has no idea 
how many times she cut herself. She only knows that if 
she hadn't, Gayaney would have died. Her blood was her 

daughter's only hope. (As told by Max Lucaddo in "The 

Applause of Heaven.") 



Jesus once said: "Greater love has no man than 
this: that a man lay down his life for his 
friends. And I call you my friends if you 
do what I command you" (John 15:13- 
14). He died to prove it— died so that 
our Black Hole could be filled with the 
infinite object, Himself. 'fr 




'* Freedom 'sjust another word 
for nothin * left to lose 
And nothin ' ain V worth nothin ' 
but it's free." 



V Rex D. I 



Ihus said Kris Kristofferson in his 
1969 song "Me and Bobby McGee.' 
. Though few in the Christian commii 
iiii_y \vould agree with Kristofferson 's anal> 
sis, it raises a question with which I must 
deal regularly in my role as a jail chaplain: 
What is freedom? The answer to that ques- 
— .. .night not be as simple as it seems. . .es 
pecially in that setting. ^ 



It was my fourth sermon of the day: one at my church in the 
morning and two already at the jail in the afternoon. I had 
at least one more service after this one, possibly more, and 
I was already tired. 



words, but., 
thians 2:4). 



a demonstration of the Spirit's power" (1 Corin- 



My mouth was on autopilot as I spoke the 
familiar preacher words, "If you have your 
Bible with you, I invite you to turn with 
me to..." Then I found myself adding a 
comment that I didn't make in any of the 
other services: "This is God's truth. Jesus 
said, 'You will know the truth and the truth 
will...'" 

A number of the inmates had a church 
background, so several finished the 
sentence: ". . .set you free." A couple even 
added a heart-felt, "Amen." 



Viir«e! If Urn 

imUi \^M get 
yesirs? 



"Actually, let's not wait. Let's talk about this now," I said, sens- 
ing I was entering into the realm of words not fully my own. 
"What is freedom?" I asked. His facial 
expression indicated that the answer was 
so obvious my question didn't deserve an 
answer. 



The young man didn't just speak up; he politely raised his hand 
and waited for me to call on him. After I recognized him, he 
wasn't challenging or argumentative, but seemed to be genu- 
inely wrestling with the issue as he asked, "What if the truth 
will get you twenty years?" 

Honestly, 1 was a bit annoyed by his question. I had my pre- 
pared remarks and really didn't feel like an impromptu dialog. 
"So you think the truth could get you twenty years?" I asked. 

"Yup," he said matter-of-factly. 

It occurred to me that a portion of my sennon would address 
that issue to a certain degree, so I said, "Hold on to that ques- 
tion, OK? We'll get to that in a bit." Then I prepared to read the 
text for the sermon. It was at that point that the gentle Spirit of 
God made it clear, "No, we won't 'get to it in a bit.' We'll get 
to it right now." 

"But, Lord, what do I say?" I prayed silently. "What does this 
white boy from the suburbs really know about the prospect of 
spending the next two decades locked in a cage?" It is in just 
such situations that we are ripe to experience that phenom- 
enon described by the apostle Paul: "not., wise and persuasive 



"Is freedom the ability to do what you 
want to fi^o?" I continued. "Or is freedom 
the ability to he the kind of person you 
want to he?"" 

He looked thoughtful, then slowly an- 
swered, "I guess. . . I guess it's being the 
kind of person you want to be." 



"Well, then," I said, "That doesn't have much to do with where 
you lay your head at night. I've met a lot of people in here 
who are a lot more free — as you define freedom — then a lot of 
people out there. You see, that's the way that the truth sets you 
free. I've found in my own experience that being the kind of 
person I want to be often sets limits on my ability to do what I 
want to do. Only you can decide which type of freedom is most 
important to you." He continued to look as if he was deep in 
thought. 

I don't know what happened to that young man. . .which type of 
freedom he chose to pursue or where he will pursue it for the 
next twenty years. But I thought often of our brief Spirit-led 
conversation as I spoke with Angle*. 




iaf^ 



w 



hen I got the message from the jail commander 
that Angle wanted to talk with me again, I thought, 
'Wasn't once enough? Lord, do I really have to 
subject myself to this again?" 




18 



Angie did not match the average demographic of our 
correctional facility. The African-American woman in 
her late 30s was college-educated and articulate, soft- 
spoken and thoughtful. She was also a career criminal. 
After meeting with her the first time, 1 told my wife, 
"She is the most kind, pleasant, well-spoken, likable 
scammer I've ever been scammed by!" 

Angle's crime of choice was bad checks, using many 
aliases, fake IDs sophisticated techniques of check 
forging. Because of her long history of bad checks, 
Angie was forbidden by law to have a checking ac- 

Not her real name 



,•;:/^.T;^^5f;^J-,ul.^^>;^■^^cSlL^;,xl!!^3l~•T:u- 



count of her own, so her boyfriend was the authorized check 
signer on the account for Angie's small business. He typically 
signed a number of checks in advance, then Angle would com- 
plete and mail them. 

Angie's latest arrest was for allegedly writing a check on her 
business account to another woman who looked somewhat like 
her, opening a bank account in that woman's name with a lost 
or stolen ID, then significantly overdrawing the new account. 
The woman in whose name the account was opened was, of 
course, nowhere to be found. Detectives, however, recognized 
Angle on the surveillance video from the bank. 

She couldn't possibly have been the one to open that account. 
Angle insisted during our first meeting. She was attending a 
trade show in another city, she said, protesting her innocence 
emphatically. She was lying and 1 knew it. 

So, when I was told that Angle wanted to see me again, I put 
off visiting her at the jail. "What's the point?" I asked myself 
"She's just going to try to scam me some more. So many of the 
inmates think a good word from the chaplain might get them a 
lighter sentence. Nothing could be further from the truth." 

$M Is !r«e m@si &i^, 
Hier^sanl infeS-spel^en. 
l^fMB sf^mmer ^b eveir 
iieen sr-firdtmeiP 'ml 



One day, after I had put off seeing Angle for several weeks, 1 
sensed that I should see her. That day. The Angle who walked 
into the conference room in which I meet with inmates was not 
the same Angle with whom I had met previously. Gone were 
the self-confident smile and the soft-spoken but firm insistence 
of her innocence. Her hair was disheveled, her face drawn, her 
eyes red and swollen. 

Angle was a pastor's daughter, but a rocky relationship with 
her father during her childhood and youth (largely the father's 
fault) had contributed to her lack of a genuine walk with God. 
She "believed," but in a way that had no practical impact on 
her life. 

But the God whom she had been avoiding for so many years 
had cornered her the previous evening. We often joke about in- 
mates being "a captive audience," but never has that been more 
true than when God began to "perform" his work in Angie's 
life the night before. 

In short, God held a mirror up to Angle and forced her to take 
an objective look at herself She was appalled at what she saw! 



liiiiiiiili 




The lying that had become a way of Hfe to her was suddenly 
loathsome. Her self-centered existence seemed so empty and 
pointless. Rather than seeing herself as she had always wanted 
to see herself, she now saw herself as she was, and she was 
terrified. Angle asked to be put in a padded cell because she 
feared that she might actually take her own life, so deep was 
her despair. 

After Angle told me her story, we discussed Psalm 52:17: "The 
sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite 
heart, O God, you will not despise." If I had ever seen true 
brokenness before God, this was it. She was now at the point 
where the Master Potter could begin 
remaking her (Jeremiah 18:1-6). 



She did open the bogus bank account. 
Angle told me, practicing the concept 
of truth-telling that was so new to her. 
It was awkward... the truth felt funny 
in her mouth! 



.....siie R@i!f sai^ 
r«ers8!f f^s siie 
vifss SRii^ ss'*e i¥ss 



Angle dove head-first into God's Word, 
now beginning to understand some 

of what she knew from childhood. And, just as important, she 
began to apply it to her life. At the top of a legal pad where 
she took notes on her Bible study, she wrote in large letters the 
word INTEGRITY. She had a new goal in life, but it wouldn't 
be easy to achieve. "Most of today I just sat on my bunk with 
my teeth clenched, trying not to tell a lie," she told me with 
frustration. "How long is it going to take? How long before I 
get beyond this?" 

Looking at my calendar, I said with a grin, "Well, let's 
see... it's been — what? — nine days now? I don't know. Angle. 
Sometimes it can take upwards of three weeks!" She grinned 
sheepishly, beginning to understand i\\Q process of growing as a 
disciple of Jesus Christ. 



relationship. She is beginning to sense a call to some area of 
ministry. . .perhaps jail and prison ministry. . .and is considering 
going to Bible college. But that won't happen for a while. She 
still has more time to serve. 

A plea agreement has been reached with the prosecutor's of- 
fice. After ousting a 16-year incumbent whom many considered 
too soft on crime, our new county prosecutor has spent eigh- 
teen months delivering on his promise to "get tough on crime." 
Especially repeat offenders like Angle. 

Angle faced several felony charges on the offense for which 
she was arrested, including forgery and 
defrauding a financial institution. She also 
faced serving the remaining seven years 
of the probation she violated by commit- 
ting this crime. The prosecutor's office 
was also considering filing a number of 
old charges that had been shelved during 
her last trial. In addition, the prosecutor 
was considering charging her with being a 
persistent felon, an Indiana statute that can 
add ten or more years to repeat offenders' 

sentences. Her potential sentence: up to 45 years in prison. 



While waiting to go to trial, another charge was filed against 
Angle for a bounced check at a local discount store. "Don't 
worry about it," her attorney told her. "I don't think they have 
enough evidence to get a conviction." 

"Oh, but I did it," she said. "That was one of my aliases." Then 
she started writing, finally saying, "Please give the prosecutor 
this list of my other aliases. This will probably clear up quite 
a few cases for him." Her dumbfounded attorney reluctantly 
did as she requested and her list did, in fact, close a number of 
cases. 




Angle continues to study God's Word and pray, seeking to sink 
her roots down deep in Christ and develop the inner character 
that will not only make this her last incarceration, but that will 
honor God and bless others. She has reconciled with her father, 
who has admitted and apologized for his role in their difficult 

20 



Angle's initial shock turned to elation when her attorney later 
told her of the plea agreement the prosecutor had offered — by 
far the most lenient I have heard come out of his office in the 
last year-and-a-half She was to plead guilty to forgery for the 
bogus bank account and the prosecutor would in turn drop the 
new bounced check charge if she would pay restitution. He 



would not file the old charges that were pending. He would not 
revoke her probation. He would not charge her with being a 
persistent felon. 




The forgery charge carries a sentence of eight years, four of 
which would be suspended without probation, leaving four 
years to serve. In Indiana, every day served with good behav- 
ior is worth two days toward a sentence, so Angle's four years 
really amounts to two. She has been in jail a year awaiting trial. 
Doubling that for good behavior, she will only have to serve 
one more year out of a potential 45 ! 

But one aspect of this offer, as generous as it was, troubled An- 
gle, presenting her with an ethical dilemma. It was a great deal, 
better than she could have ever dreamed, but could she accept 
it? Could she sign the plea agreement? 

Walking into court to enter her plea, she told her lawyer, 'i'm 
not sure I can do this. I'm not sure I can plead guilty to forg- 
ery." The attorney nearly exploded. She was not going to get a 
better deal than this, he insisted. 

No, she explained, that wasn't the issue. She was more than 
happy with the proposed sentence. It was the charge that 
bothered her. As was their practice. Angle's boyfriend had 
signed the blank check she had used to open the account. It 
was his legitimate, authorized signature on the check. The 
plea agreement required her to plead guilty to the one crime 
of which she was innocent! 

"I can't do this," she said. "It's not the truth." Her exasper- 
ated lawyer mumbled that he would see what he could do. 

At that point the prosecutor walked into the courtroom with 
a file folder containing the paperwork for the plea agreement. 
Angle opened the folder and reluctantly read the final copy 
of the agreement. It had been amended such that she would 
plead guilty to defrauding a financial institution, with the 
same sentence originally agreed upon. 

"Oh, I can sign that!" she said. "That's the truth!" 



Freedom is not that ability to do what you want to do. Freedom 
is the ability to be the kind of person you want to be. It will be 
another year before Angle can do what she wants to do, but as 
she sits in her jail cell, she knows what it means to htfree in 
Christ!* 

"Then you will know the truth, 
and the truth will set you free. If 
the Son sets you free, you will be 
free indeed" (John 8:32, 36). 

Rev. Rex Hutto is pastor of the New Albany (In- 
diana) Advent Christian Church. 



Urn eslsei^ l@ Sie 
pus in a paiPiPefP mn 
Sief.ause sr^e feareiP 
sues siie mm 
acssuaSy seise rier 
@KfR !lle, s@ i^eep 
W7x^ im fPespeir. 



21 



Bepms8B:t a^ 



Lord 



By The Reverend Canon Charles M. Priebe, Jr. 



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had been retired only thirteen months; but already it had seemed like thirteen years. I had 
thought that, most of all, I would miss the preaching and the visitations in hospitals and 
homes; but not so! 



No! Not so! It was the absence of the Communion Table of the Church that is the biggest 
void in my life. It is the inability to be at the center of the Table celebrating the Holy Com- 
munion with a worshipping congregation that really hurts. 

Even so, something wonderful has been happening in my life, something that I have not 
understood. Meals: breakfast, lunches, and dinners have been becoming more and more 
important to me. Those who know me might say, with grins, "So what else is new?" But I do 
not mean what they think. I am not referring to the eating of those meals; but what happens 
to me during those meals. More and more I am feeling the Presence of that "Unseen Guesf 
that the Mystics of previous generations have known better than I. 

I thought at first, that this might only be loneliness revealing itself; but that is not so either. 
What it is was finally made clear to me when I read these words from one of William Bar- 
clay's books: 



,22 



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"The Lord's Supper was a real meal... This was no eating of a cube of bread and the drinking 
of a sip of wine. It was a meal for hungry men. We might well say that what Jesus was teach- 
ing.. ..is not only to assemble in church and eat a ritual and symbolic feast: he is telling them 
that every time they sit down and eat a meal, that meal is in memory of him. Jesus is not only 
Lord of the Communion Table; He must be Lord of the dinner table, too! " 

Holy Communion has always been more than a ritual, a symbol, or a memorial to me. I have 
always felt our Lord's presence. Maybe he, for some reason or other, is now sitting down 
with me and for longer periods of time. In this prayer 1 often ask him to do so. 

Be present at our table, Lord. Be here and eveiywhere adored. 

These creatures bless, and grant that we. May feast in Paradise with Thee! 

I have always felt his presence at the Communion Table of each church where 1 have served; 
but now, in my retirement, I particularly feel his presence in my daily meals. Maybe this is 
because I have made more time to be with him! Could this be so?"!}" 

l)The Gospel of Matthew, Vol. 2, The Daily Study Bible Series Revised edition, William Barclay, p. 342 



iip''-" 



23 



A WORD FROM 
OUR PRESIDENT 



Summer provides a wonderful occasion to get away 
for a vacation. Many enjoy this season as an op- 
portunity to spend quality time together as a family. 
Some do so at a Christian campground, where they find 
spiritual renewal and physical rest. 

Campmeetings have a wonderful place in the heritage of 
Adventism. I well remember attending one in the days of 
my youth. While I cannot remember a specific message of 
the evangelist or a particular lesson of a Bible teacher, I 
am keenly aware of the impact this time had on my spiri- 
tual formation as a young person. 

Through the years, many have heard the call to Christian 
ministry at these hallowed places. God has spoken through 
his servants; and people have been challenged to heed 
the call to full-time Christian service. Among them are 
the young people God has raised up to serve him in their 
generation. 

The same is happening right now across this country. 
God is speaking to the hearts of young men and women 
at youth and family camps. As I write this I have recently 
witnessed the work of the Holy Spirit wooing teenag- 
ers at one of our youth camps. My prayer is that some of 
those who hear the challenge will heed the call and pur- 
sue full-time vocational ministry. Like Jeremiah of old, 
who was called by the Lord to the office of prophet while 
still a youth (Jeremiah 1:6), we need young people who 
will serve the Lord as missionaries, evangelists. Christian 
school teachers, and Pastors. 

God grant that many will hear the voice of the Lord this 
summer like Isaiah of old, and heed His call. "Here am I. 
Send me!" (Isaiah 6:8) '^ 



Rev. Glenn Rice is pastor of Oak Hill Bible Church (AC) in 
Oxford, Mass. He is president of the Eastern Regional Associa- 
tion and was appointed interim-president ofACGC to serve the 
remainder of Rev. Ronald Thomas, Jr. 's term. 



(editorial continued) 

Could it be that I'm an especially distasteful guest: obnoxious, chewing with my mouth open, and unconsciously insulting the 
host's political affiliations? Is that why we're not invited over to others' homes? Whatever my social shortcomings may be, almost 
everyone I know has a similar experience. None of my pastor- friends are the happy targets of a State Road-style of hospitality 
competition. And, apart from rescue missions, I know of no one who needs a ping-pong table to seat their guests. 

Things need to change. Here's a simple suggestion: ask someone from your church over for dinner. Even if you don't feel too 
close to the pastor, and his kids are a bit "hyper," think what a blessing it would be to his wife if you invited them. Look around 
your congregation and see if there isn't someone else who might be blessed by an hour's visit at your table. 



Some readers may be wondering if I'm making a 
bid to fill Martha Stewart's recently vacated role. 
Why else would I push this hospitality thing so 
much? Because it can mean so much to people, and 
because the Word of God commands it: 

"Offer hospitality to one another without grum- 
bling" (1 Peter 4:9). 

From the very beginning, the church thrived on 
hospitality. Fellowship meals were the setting for 
Holy Communion, and, for decades, private homes 
were the only sanctuaries for worship. As examples 
for others, the apostle Paul required that church 
leaders be hospitable ( 1 Timothy 3:2). To this day, 
particularly in countries where believers are per- 
secuted, hospitality is a holy undertaking, and the 
church has thrived because of it. 

One of the first activities our risen Lord Jesus did 
was share a meal with a few believers. We will 
never go wrong if we follow his example. 'fr 



To encourage you in this important endeavor, I offer the following... 

I Learned/ fimw My Monv: 

A clean house is nice, but not all-important. Mom was 

very good about keeping the house clean; but if it wasn't 
spotless that didn't keep her from having company. She and 
Dad often invited people home for a meal right after Sunday 
worship. Mom never said, "We can't have anyone over; I 
haven't dusted!" And, no guest ever said, "I can't believe 
you'd ask me over for dinner with your house this dusty!" 

The meal is the occasion but not the reason for hospital- 
ity» People like to eat, but most are hungrier for a good visit. 
Mom always served the best meal she could; but she wasn't 
cooking for compliments. She wanted the food to be good, 
but the fellowship had to be better. If you don't have time to 
cook, or can't cook very well, order a pizza or pick up some 
Chinese food. 




Don't let what you lack keep you from sharing what 
you have. Kathy and I don't have room for a ping-pong 
table sized crowd; our whole house would almost fit in my 
parents' living room. But that doesn't stop us from having 
guests. We just keep the numbers to what we can comfort- 
ably accommodate. 

Act the way you want your guests to act. If you want your 
guests to feel comfortable and "at home," you need to relax. 
You'll likely be a little nervous the first time company comes 
for dinner; but, if you treat them like family, you'll all prob- 
ably enjoy yourselves. 

Keep the TV off. It may seem like an obvious courtesy, 
to not allow a television to distract from the visiting; yet, 
as a pastor, I called on people who didn't turn off their TV 
the whole time I was there - even during prayer! There's at 
least one exception to this rule: when a major sporting event 
is broadcast, and the host and guests are all fans. Watch- 
ing a game together can be a fun social event, with visiting 
happening at the same time. (But don't watch the half-time 
shov\ under any circumstances') 



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Place these words in the puzzle above. One has been done for you. 



4 letters 


5 letters 6 letters 


7 letters 


8 letters 


ACTS 


JAMES ROMANS 


HEBREWS 


PHILEMON 


JOHN 


PETER 


MATTHEW 




JUDE 


TITUS 


TIMOTHY 




LUKE 








MARK 








9 letters 


10 letters 


11 letters 


13 letters 


EPHESIANS 


COLOSSIANS 


CORINTHIANS 


THESSALONIANS 


(HALATIONS 


REVELATION 


PHILIPPIANS 





Unscramble these Bible verses. 

1. he loves obey If me, will teaching, anyone my 

2. is than To better obey sacrifice... 

3. Blessed who word and rather it. are hear obey those the of God 

4. right, your in Children, obey Lord, this parents the for is 



John 14: 23 

I Samuel 15:22 

Luke 11: 28 

Ephesians 6: 1 




"...Except ye become P.f^ ff i ilC' (\)\\6\Wi,ye shall n 
enter into the kingdom of heaven." 



3 




Help the thirsty soul 
find his way to 
living water 



Jesus stood and said in a 
loud voice, 'If anyone is 
thirsty, let him come to 
me and drink. Who- 
ever believes in me as 
the Scripture has said, 
streams of living water 
i will flow from within him'" 
(John 7:37-38). 




Created For 
Ministry 




ALSOl 



By Randee Davis 



We believe that God created women for ministry, to use their 
gifts for evangeUsm, discipleship and to do his work on this 
earth. The Woman's Home and Foreign Mission Society has 
always worked to equip, encourage and enable Advent Chris- 
tian women to use their gifts and opportunities to share the 
good news of Jesus Christ faithfully, urgently and sacrificially 
until he comes. This is not an easy task due to barriers that 
women sometimes have to overcome just because they are 
women. God's word tells us about how these barriers were 
brought about by sin and how he made a way for us to over- 
come them and become all he created us to be. 

The Bible tells us in Genesis 2:16-18 and 22, And the Lord God 
commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the 
garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge 
of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die. " 
The Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to he alone. I 
will make a helper suitable for him. " Then the Lord God made 
a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he 
brought her to the man. 

And so the story of man and woman begins. Since God did not 

....Eve had really messed up 
royally—not only had she 
brought the wrath of God 
down on all women, but now 
everyone would have to die! 

want man to be alone he made him "a helper '. We also know 
from Genesis 1:31 that God considered this creation of woman 
a good thing, 'And God saw all that he had made, and it was 
very good'. Every thing was good! God had created man and 
woman and put them in a perfect environment with everything 
they would ever need. It was not long, however, until Satan 
appears in the form of a serpent to tempt the woman. 




Genesis 3:2-6 tells us, The woman said to the serpent, "We may 
eat fruit from the trees in the garden, " but God did say, "You 
must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the gar- 
den, and you must not touch it, or you will die. " "You will not 
surely die, " the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows 
that when you eat of it, your eyes will be opened, and you will 
be like God, knowing good and evil. " When the woman saw 
that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the 
eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and 
ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her; 
and he ate it. " 




The Fall of mankind occurred when both Adam and Eve 
disobeyed. We are not told why this evil thing was allowed 
into the garden. We only know that God created the man and 
woman to love and obey him and they failed. Their relation- 
ship with the 

To some degree, almost 
every culture in the 
world reflects a 



negative attitude 
towards women. 



Lord was 
broken. Both 
would suffer the 
consequences 
of their sin, as 
would all of 
mankind. The 
woman has tra- 
ditionally borne 
more than her 

share of the brunt for the consequences of sin which entered 
the world at the Fall. 

We read in Genesis 3:16, To the woman he said, "I will greatly 
increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give 
birth to children. Your desire will be for vour husband, and he 
will rule over you. " 

We could say that Eve had really messed up royally-not only 
had she brought the wrath of God down on all women, but 
now everyone would have to die! This prompted a man by the 
name of Jesus ben Sirach to write two centuries before Christ, 
'From a woman sin had its beginning and because of her we all 
die.' 

Cultures everywhere reflect the effects of the Fall. From the 
beginning of time women have suffered abuse, have been used, 
overworked and undervalued in almost all societies. To some 
degree, almost every culture in the world reflects a negative 
attitude towards women. Because of these negative attitudes, 
it has been extremely hard for women to use their gifts in 
ministry. 



Sin created a barrier between men and women, which has de- 
graded both through the centuries. The good news is that Jesus 
Christ has broken down the barriers. He came that our rela- 
tionship with God might be restored! Wherever Christianity 
has gone in this world, a woman's place has vastly improved. 
Jesus honored women, taught them, healed them, treated them 
with respect and assigned them to proclaim his message! Jesus 



shed his blood on the cross of Calvary for the remission of sin. 
His gift of salvation is for every man, woman and child. Jesus 
made it possible for us to be exactly what we were created to 
be from the very beginning, "a helper". We are helpers! 



Now women were faced with the challenge of using their gifts 
in ministry after centuries of being made to feel inferior and 
suffering abuse. Overcoming the barriers would not be easy. 
First she would have to realize that she is loved and cherished 
and precious in the eyes of the Lord. She must recognize the 
gifts that he has given her and know that God expects her to 
use the gifts. She must overcome the barriers of background, 
race, lack of education, social status and the challenge of being 
a woman in a man's world, to gain a godly sense of self-worth. 
Only when a woman accepts who she is in Jesus Christ can she 
truly minister with his authority and power. 

We read in Galatians 3:26-28, You are all sons of God through 
faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into 
Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither 
Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all 
one in Christ Jesus. 

Whatever our gifts, education, or vocation might be, our calling 
is to do God's work on earth. This is our ministry. What is 
God calling you to do as a woman? God is calling the whole 
church, men and women, to take the Gospel to the whole 
world. The gifts of the Spirit are distributed to all of God's 
people for this purpose, it is his plan that we work together in 
a spirit of cooperation to evangelize the world. We are not in 
a competition of men versus women. We are in a partnership 

working together 'And the Lord God said. "It is not 

good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for 
him. '" 

What can you do to be everything God wants you to be? First, 
make sure your relationship with Christ, your knowledge of the 
word of God, and your response to the Holy Spirit has priority 
in your life. Be much in prayer. Discover your own spiritual 
gifts. Look for ways to develop them and use them to build up 
the Body of Christ. Know what you believe about the biblical 
role of women in min- 
istry. Look for every 
opportunity available 
to minister in and 
through your church. 
Be a mentor. Show 
respect and apprecia- 
tion for the men with 
whom you minister. 
Enjoy serving Christ 
with the precious gifts 
he has given you.'fr 






AuaUaMe now 

Call 800'G76'0€n, e>a. 251 



Penodicals Postage Paid 

1/4/2 

00004343 12/2004 

UNC Chapel Hill Library 

Serials Dept 

CB# 3938 Davis Library 

Chapel Hill NC 27514 



I..I.II...I.I,I,,mII,I,,I,„III 



Advent Christian 



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July/August 2004 



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Disciplemaking: * 
"Maine Event" 



Witness 



Volume 52, Issue 4 

www.adventchristian.org 

1-800-676-0694 

Editor 
Keith Wheaton 

Assistant Editor 
Jan Thomas 

Contributing Editor 
Tom Warner 

Proofreader 
Kathy Wheaton 

Women s Ministry Editor 
Randee Davis 



Advent Christian 
General Conference 



Julia Brock Missions Secretary 

WorldMissions@adventchristian.org 
Nancy Brooks Exec. Director Secretary 

ExecDirect@adventch ristian. org 
Shirley Efird Bookkeeper 

Trena Efird Missions Secretary 

WorldMissions(wfidventchristian.org 
Helen Hagler Printer/Mailroom 

Amy Johnson Bookkeeper 

Donna Martin Printer/Mailroom 

Harold Patterson World Missions Director 

WorldMissions@adventchristian.org 
Tina Pressley Venture Bookstore 

Venture@adventchristian. org 
Mary Ritchie Church Relations Secretary 

MaryRitchie@fidventchristian.org 
John Roller Urban/Ethnic & Resource Center 

JRoller@adventchristian. org 
Dawn Russell Venture Bookstore 

Venture@adventchristian. org 
Richard Russell Church Relations Director 

Ch urchRelations@adventchristian. org 
Dawn Rutan Information Services 

DRutan@adventchristian.org 
Jim Smith Finance/Services 

Services@adventchristian. org 
Jan Thomas Assistant Editor 

Jan Thomas@acgc. us 
Ron Thomas Executive Director 

ExecDirect@adventchristian.org 

Keith Wheaton Publications Coordinator 

Keith@jacgc.us 



International Missionaries 



Area Directors: 

Scott Dombrosky — Latin 

America/Short-Tenn Missions 

sdombrosk}'@comcast. net 

John Gilbert — Team Leader 

john(ai99pliis 1 . org 

Frank Jewett — Europe/Africa 

jjewett@megalink. net 

John Roller — Urban/Ethnic 

jroUer@adventchristian.org 

Clio Thomas — Asia/Pacific 

cliowestva@msn. com 

Honduras 

David Vignali (5/10) 

c/o Teen Missions 

P.O.Box 4094 

San Pedro Sula 

HONDURAS 

tmihonduiivnetsys.hn 

Liberia 

Abraham David 

Advent Christian Church 

PO. Box 4669 

Monrovia, LIBERIA 

adventchristian@yahoo.com 

Malaysia 

Victor and Nesamony 

Devadason, 

Beaulah Margreat Devasa- 

hayam 

Al-Shadai 111am 

No. 24 Jalan Pandan 12 

Taman Dato Homiat 42500 

Teluk Panglima Garang 

K. Langat, Selangor 

MALAYSIA 

bethel 3 5 7(a)}wtmail. com 

James and Mercy Devadas- 
son 

20 Jalan Intan 4 

Taman Intan 

86000 Kluang, Johor 

MALAYSIA 

adventchristian(ai hotmail. 

com 

Ruth Devairakkam 

36 Jalan 14/2 
Taman Sri Kluang 
86000 Kluang, Johor 
MALAYSIA 
ruthdevairakkam(a), hotmail. 



Philippines 

Jeff and Penny Vann 

(7/14 & 5/12; Elizabeth, 
10/24; Connie, 3/29; 
Naomi, 10/11) 
P.O. Box 223 
9000 Cagayan de Oro 
Philippines 
Jeffvann@ acgc.us 
pennyvann@acgc. us 

Grant Aldridge (7/27) 

P.O. Box 223 

9000 Cagayan de Oro 

Philippines 

aldridge@home.philcom.ph 



National Missionaries 

Memphis 

Francis and Lyne Ssebi- 

kindu 

2175 Carrollwood 
Cordova, TN 38018 
fssebikindu@ worldnet. 
att.net 

Mexico 

Joel and Omega Garcia 

(La Purisima) 

c/o John Gilbert 

PO. Box 9019 SF 168 

CalcxiccCA 9223 1-90 19 

John(tti99plus 1 .org 

Juan "Martin" Camacho 
Valdez 

c/o John Gilbert 
PO. Box 9019 
Calexico.CA 9223 1-90 19 

Miguel and Maria Mena 

c/o John Gilbert 

PO. Box 9019 SF 168 

Calexico,CA 9223 1-90 19 

Croatia 
Desire Ahola 

PO. Box 29 
Nova Gradiska 
35400 CROATIA 
ahola. desire@sb. hinet. hr 



India 

Earl and Martha Wright 

(4/16 & 10/17) 
PO. Box 3164 
Guindy Chennai 600 032 
wright@md3. vsnl. net. in 

Ernie Schache (1/29) 

PO. Box 3164 

Guindy Chennai 600 032 

INDIA 

ernieschache@vsnl.net 



Ghana 
Simon Bissah 

A.C.C. 

PO. Box 604 

Nsawam, Eastern Region 

Ghana 

simbissah@yahoo.com 

Namibia 

Moses Angbongy 

PO. Box 25473 " 

Soweto 

Windhoek, NAMIBIA 

blessedhope62@hotmail. 

com 

New Zealand 
David Burge 

12 Bettina Place 

Manurewa 

Auckland, NEW ZEALAND 

dburge@s lings hot. co. nz 

South Africa 
Nathan Fernando 

14 Dick Muller Drive 
Norkem Park 1620 
S.AFRICA 2028 
nathankf@excite. org 

China 

All correspondence should 
be channeled through the 
missions office. 



.Advent Christian Witness (ISSN #0741-4302) is published bimonthly by the Advent Christian General Conference of 
America, 14601 Albemarle Rd., P.O. Box 23 152, Charlotte. NC 28227. Subscription rates in the United States and Canada: 
One year $15.00. Single copy $2.75. Overseas rate, one year $18.00. Periodicals postage paid at Charlotte. NC. and ad- 
ditional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to .Advent Christian Witness. P.O. Box 23 1 52. CharloUe. 
NC 28227. Printed in Canada. 

As the official publication of the Advent Christian General Conference, the Advent Christian Witness publishes the 
teachings of the Advent Christian Church and promotes the task of disciple-making both in North America and around the 
world. The views expressed in this magazine are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those of the editor or 
Ihc Advent Christian General Conference. Member: Evangelical Press Association. Copyright ";> 2004. 



From the Editor 

1 







V^ 
^ 



The Parable of the Couch 

Kathy and I searched for the right piece of furniture for 
months. We sat on hundreds of sofas, couches and divans, 
looking for the perfect combination of style and comfort. 
Eventually, we found a couch that wasn't littered with twenty 
pillows, wasn't too hard, and didn't suck our posteriors to the 
floor like some insidious black hole in space. It cost more than 
most, but we knew we'd enjoy it for many years, and we took 
comfort in its lifetime warranty. 

Less than two years after our purchase 1 began to have a sink- 
ing feeling, literally. Sitting in the middle of the couch provid- 
ed me with a close-up view of my kneecaps. 1 soon discovered 
that a brace underneath had come loose. So I called "John," my 
personal furniture sales consultant who had extolled the virtues 
of the product at the time of purchase. The conversation went 
something like this: 

"John, my couch has a brace that needs to be refastened." 

"Well, Mr. Wheaton, we'll be glad to fix it. Just bring it right in 
and we'll take care of it." 

"John. It's a big, big, heavy couch! Do you really expect me to 
bring it in?" 

"Well, yes. We have a furniture repairman who works on-site." 

"John, this is a really huge piece of furniture, not just some 
chair or coffee table." 

"I understand that, Mr. Wheaton. But we can't send our repair- 
man all over the county. That's just not practical." 

(Continued on page 25) 



Contents 



Just Desserts? 

Edited by Rev. Tom Warner 

A New Light in the Comunity 

Elaine Moody 

Jesus Blessing Christ Chapel 

Rev. Ray Penny 

A Little Church, A Big Ministry 

Carol Murch 



10 



12 



Rev. Joanne Hunter: 

Another Type of Proverbs 31 Woman 14 

Barbara Hunter Miller 

Faith in the Midst of C.H.A.O.S 21 

Melyca Storman Waterman 

A Word From Our President 24 

Rev. Glenn Rice 

As Children 26 

Dawn Russell 

This Ain't Your Momma's Circle! 28 

Randee Davis 



On the cover: 

Donna Pitts, of Blessed Hope 
Advent Christian Church, 
Waterville, Maine, introduces the 
evening's entertainment 




fi 



^11, 



4%' 






i^- 



1 




just 

Edited by Rev. Tom Warner 

Many of our pastors have benefited from Dann Spader's Healthy Church 
Seminars. He encourages churches to analyze their activities to see how 
many are geared for the congregation alone vs. how many are designed to 
reach non-Christians. 

Dann recommends a three-step outreach, which he describes with an agri- 
cultural analogy. He says we should... 

1. plan activities that help our members cultivate relationships with un- 
believers; 

2. find creative, relevant ways to plant the gospel message in people's 
hearts; and, 

3. schedule events designed to reap decisions/disciples for Christ, offer- 
ing people an opportunity to respond to God in a setting that doesn't 
seem too strange or confusing if they're unfamiliar with church. 

The Blessed Hope Church in Waterville, Maine has a unique cultivating 
ministry, which they call dinner theater. Our editor attended one of their 
plays and then interviewed some people who were involved. We hope God 
will use this interview to spark creative ideas for outreach in the minds of 
many readers. 

An Interview with Pastor Tim Setzer, Debbie Bowden (producer), 
Brian LaPlant (director), and Joyce Norton 

ACW: Where did you come up with the idea of a dinner theater? 

Tim: We have a children's drama/musical ministry called King's Kids. Debbie was in charge of producing 
one King's Kids production each year, and sometimes two. At some point we began talking about how we'd 
like to have some drama for adults. 

ACW: Was anyone else involved in the early planning? 

Tim: Yes, our good friend Brian here. He was the director of the local opera house, and he and Debbie have 

(Photos continued on page 16, interview continued on page 18) 




The Lighthouse 



/A New Light 

iin the Community^ 



How several local churches turned a donated neighborhood 
market into an outreach for Christ 



By Elaine Moody 




Rev. Greg Mooch 

We waited, continuing to arrange the potato salads, chips, rolls and condiments on the bar just 
inside the front door. Someone had made brownies and cookies to round out our offering. The 
grill had been fired up and Dick had begun the task of flipping hamburgers and hotdogs. Still, 
we waited — Beth and Cindy, Greg and Kevin and I. Beth and her crew had canvassed the area a few days 
earlier leaving invitations to our barbecue at the various apartments. Wasn't anyone going to take us up on 
our invitation? 

Then, a few kids walked over from the housing across the road. "Are you guys here for the barbecue?" With 
nods and wide grins our first all-family venture at The Lighthouse was underway! Tara was so excited. She'd 
been here before with her dad, but tonight her mom was coming and bringing her new baby. "How old is 
your new baby?" She stopped jumping and answered, "1 don't know. You'll have to ask my mom!." 



As I stood on the driveway's edge looking down the slope toward the housing complex, 1 had the privilege 
and the thrill of just standing in awe of God at work in our little city — in this small neighborhood. They 
were coming! Dads and moms-single and married-were strolling up the hill towards us. And the chil- 
dren-oh, those precious children-were leading the way. I imagined that this was only a taste of the elation 
Jesus felt when he stood on the Mount of Olives watching the numerous lost and hurting making their way, 
prompted by the Holy Spirit, to hear the truth of our almighty and compassionate God. What a flood of real- 
ization of God's power and love washed over me. Praying, planning, and praising were again being blessed 
with God's action. 



This is exactly the kind of thing area churches and, 
specifically, Presque Isle Neighborhood Ministries, 
have been asking God to do. The board is made up 
of pastors and lay leaders from Advent Christian 
(Castle Hill and State Road), Baptist, and Wesleyan 
churches. Although this group of believers had great 
vision for ministry, the building needed lots of work 
before any ministry could happen on site. Praying, 
praising, painting, hammering, installing new win- 
dows and a new oil heater began the long preparation 
process. 

The Lighthouse is an example of God at work 
through us. Many weeks have seen some of these 
children gathering to hear about God's love and 
his plan for them. A weekly after-school drop-in 
for young children and a Good News Club through 
Child Evangelism Fellowship on Friday evenings 
have been offered here at The Lighthouse. The Holy 
Spirit has used these tools to usher five children into 
his kingdom. Yes, God has already been at work in 





I'olunteer Pal Bui^lcy helps wilh llic ivnovutions to the Lighlhoiis 



this small, unassuming building that is becoming a safe place to gather for the families in this 
neighborhood. The hope of the churches involved in this ministry is that God will be lifted up 
through serving others here in this place. As he is lifted up, he will draw all men, women and 
children to himself 

The summer has seen a break in the after-school program and the Good News Club (plans are 
to start up again when the school year begins). However, each weekday this summer the Light- 
house is a site for children from the area to receive meals from the school district. This is yet 
another opportunity to let the people of this community know of the Lighthouse's existence. 
On Friday evenings a prayer group led by a local Christian psychiatrist is held here. The focus 
of this prayer is local church renewal and revival. 

Presque Isle Neighborhood Ministries has great faith that God will work through ministries 
offered from this small building. Plans are now developing for a Christian recovery group to 
begin meeting here. What a joy and privilege to offer support, God's love, and Christ's power 
to people who are struggling through addiction and bondage. Pizza nights, movie nights, 
meals for seniors and training for parents are just some of the potential offerings. The hope 
is that many more ideas for ministry will begin to be placed in the hearts and minds of area 
Christians and that these people will step out to join us as we serve to reach our community for 
Christ. 



As I think back to my experience 
on that warm summer evening 
and the opportunity to participate 
in our tiny effort to show God's 
love to others by serving them, 1 
am struck by two very important 
truths. What a wonderful God we 
serve — stirring the hearts of men 
and women to acts of love. What 
an awesome heavenly Father we 
adore — guiding our steps and 
our hearts as we come together to 
serve others, that they may know 
Jesus Christ and his love and 
power at work in them.lf' 



Elaine and Greg Moody 




Blessin 




By Rev. Ray Penny 



Northern Pines Retreat Center Christ Chapel's new facility 



Christ Chapel began in 1987 as a weekly Bible-study group of Advent Christians who lived in the 
Raymond-Casco-Naples area of Sebago Lake, just a forty-five minute drive west of Portland, Maine. 
This Bible study was conducted by Pastor Ray Penney of the Portland Advent Christian Church. 
Sensing the need for a strong Bible-teaching church in the Sebago Lake region, the group was leased the 
Main Street property (a telephone building) beginning on Memorial Day weekend in May of 1988 and pur- 
chased it with a loan from the denominational church loan building fund on December 8, 1988. Six families 
from the Portland A.C. Church were commissioned at a worship service on May 22, 1988, to begin this new 
work. 

By March 1989, the garage of the building was renovated into a sanctuary which could seat 125 people. It 
soon was filled after a telephone campaign was conducted seeking non-churched families. By mid-1992, 
Christ Chapel became completely self-supporting and, by mid-1995, the chapel moved into its third sanctu- 
ary which was a new addition seating 150-185 people. This church has witnessed 100 new believers being 
baptized and disciplcd. 

During 1994, special prayer sessions were conducted as groups met to pray over sections of a map of the 
town of Raymond laid out on tables. One of the places specifically prayed about was a retreat center, located 
in Raymond and adjacent to Crescent Lake, called Northern Pines. Many different types of groups met there 
including New-Agers who practiced Yoga and other groups known for their questionable behavior. The 
church, led by Pastor Ray, prayed against the negative spiritual influence of this place. Little did Christ Cha- 
pel know that this kind of praying would play a part in the future growth of the church. 
10 




The telephone building, Christ Chapel s original building 




It soon became evident that the Main street 
property was not able to support the growing 
demands of its Christian Education program. 
A search began for a larger piece of property 
where the church could expand and grow. 
However, after two years of praying and 
searching, nothing was found that could meet 
the church's need. In 2000, Envision Reahy 
Corporation purchased a large parcel of land 
adjacent to Crescent Lake, which included 
the Northern Pines retreat center. The center 
had three floors, housing twenty-four motel 
rooms, a commercial kitchen, handicap bath- 
rooms and a function hall, which accommodated 
250 people. Once it became known Envision Realty 
was about to offer the retreat center as a gift to a 
non-profit organization for a million-dollar write- 
off, five organizations immediately expressed inter- 
est, along with the town of Raymond. However, the 
town saw more problems than opportunities. Learn- 
ing of Christ Chapel's need for space. Envision 
Realty approached the church after bypassing all 
other interested parties and offered to Christ Chapel 
the gift of the fully-equipped retreat center plus ten 
acres of land. This donation would be received after 
an eight-month lease of one dollar per month. The 
donation was received on December 6, 2001. Seven years 
after exercising spiritual-warfare prayer over this loca- 
tion, this center was given to the church as a gift! 

Renovations were made during the following year. V.B.S. 
and youth events were conducted there. Then, on Sep- 
tember 7, 2003, Christ Chapel began worshipping at 
the new site with a memorable service of thanksgiving. 
Many motel rooms have been converted into classrooms, 
offices, a prayer room, and two guest rooms. 



The Main Street property has become Christ Chapel's 

Ministry Center where many community events are held 

and community needs met. This property houses the town 

food pantry which serves up to 20 families. A meal offered free to the community is provided on a monthly 

basis. Undoubtedly, youth events will soon be conducted by a new youth pastor, which the congregation is 

presently seeking. This center will expand the ministry of Christ Chapel in the community. 

However, Pastor Ray is looking forward to the time when a new church building can be constructed on the 
land adjacent to the parking lot at Northern Pines, and the present worship center be returned to a retreat cen- 
ter where retreat groups will meet in the future. Christ Chapel will have a wonderful opportunity to minister 
to others from outside its present fellowship, thus making a further contribution to the kingdom of God.-fr 



Christ Chapel's new sancliian 




Rev. Rav Penny 



11 



a 




Aimie 

ministry 



churcli 



By Carol Murch 



Some people wonder about the effectiveness of a small church. Well, let me tell you about a small 
congregation in Auburn, Maine, that has a very effective ministry, both locally and in third-world 
countries. Approximately five years ago. Auburn Advent Christian Church came within one vote of 
closing. However, the Lord was not done using that church for his honor and glory. 

A few years ago. Auburn A.C. Church had an interim minister, Paul Bernard, who planted the idea of 
collecting outdated and unused medical supplies from our local hospitals and nursing homes, and send- 
ing them to third-world countries where they don't have access to such supplies in their medical facilities. 
Our people volunteer to collect, inventory, and pack for shipment, the supplies that the medical facilities 
donate. That has been a very effective ministry for a church with approximately thirty-five to forty people. 

Our church has been truly blessed with a wonderful group of musicians, who also volunteer their time and 
talents. For such a small congregation to have such a good variety of talent is rather unusual, especially 
when you hear of larger churches that have a difficult time finding musicians for paid positions. 

Even though we don't presently have many official committees in our church, people just seem to jump in 
where they see a need that they can fill, and get it done — anything from carpentry repair jobs, hospitality- 
type jobs at our fellowship times, or getting new curtains for the multipurpose room. Whatever the need, 
someone always takes care of it without being asked. 

Many times one hears the phrase "church family." Well, at Auburn 
A.C. Church there is a genuine camaraderie among the people, and 
they really care for each other, as a family would be expected to do. 
They enjoy the intimacy of a small church, and even though our church 
is slowly growing in attendance, it is experiencing spiritual growth, 
which is an important aspect of church life. 

12 




Rev. Ronald Miirch 

While our membership is small, we 
have several regular attendees from 
other denominational backgrounds 
who are a big part of the group. They 
are a welcome addition to the con- 
gregation, and they participate in the 
various ministries as much as the 
members. 

Our pastor, Rev. Ronald Murch, is 
mentoring a pastoral intern, Russell 
Giasson. Consequently, we are fortu- 
nate to have him and his wife, Karalee, 
provide musical and teaching talents to 
our ministries. They have been in- 
strumental in getting a Sunday School 
started up again, and they provide the 
contemporary "praise" part of the wor- 
ship service. 



Six years ago, a similar situation was taking place 
at our Bridgton Advent Christian Church. They had 
voted to close if Rev. Murch wasn't willing, or able, 
to serve as pastor. The Lord used Pastor Murch to 
keep that church open until a younger pastor, Bruce 
LeBlanc, was ready to take over. So it goes to show 
that the Lord still needs the ministry of our smaller 
churches . . . and even though Pastor Murch is at re- 
tirement age, the Lord isn't through using the talents 
he has to offer, either.* 



«- • M 




13 



Epilogue: The Wife of Noble 

Character 

' wife of noble character who can 
find? 

She is worth far more than rubies. 

Rev. Joanne Hunter: 

Another type of '> wsnv 



By Barabara Hunter Miller 



For the past two decades^ Rev. Joanne Hunter, a retired high school math teacher, has 
pastored Castle Hill Advent Christian Church, a rural church located in the woods of 
northern Maine. This past spring Rev. Hunter fell asleep in the Lord. The following was 
written by her daughter for the memorial service. 



My mother was a woman of many virtues. She was an artist, a poet, a photographer, a musician, a 
teacher, a counselor, a preacher, and in her younger days she was even an athlete. What she wasn't 
was a housekeeper. I have a few childhood memories of my father wielding a mop, but none of 
my mother doing so. I suppose that someone must have cleaned the bathrooms now and then in those distant 
days, but 1 don't remember it. 

My mother was not interested in external appearances. She did not teach me about hairstyles, fashion, or 
interior decorating because she wasn't interested in those things. She taught me how to blow a raw egg out 
of its shell through a pinhole so that the shell could be preserved to paint for Easter, how to fly a kite and 
how to make May baskets out of tissue paper. She had a purple dress but only because I made it for her. She 
generally took little more thought to how she would be clothed than do the lilies of the field. 

14 



-^bi.c '^-^■' .1 over 
and does ru^t eat tht: ■ 

^Her children arise and call her 
blessed; 

her husband also. :i^"' 

"Many women dr-^ -' 

My mother was an excellent cook and there were always homemade sweets in her kitchen. However, if she 
ever rose while it was yet night, it was to look for a lunar eclipse, meteor showers or the aurora borealis. It 
certainly wasn't to make anyone breakfast. My mother did not like to be uncomfortable and put some plan- 
ning and effort into seeing that she would be well-fed, kept cool, and safe from black flies (which she hated). 
The rest of us were welcome to share her arrangements, but if they didn't suit, we were free to fend for 
ourselves. 

My mother planted almost nothing, let alone vineyards. Her philosophy of gardening was that she didn't un- 
derstand why someone would dig up what wanted to grow in a certain place and then plant things that didn't 
want to grow there. She loved lupines in the field but not near the house. They gave her hay fever. 

My mother certainly extended her hand to the poor. She gathered no treasures on earth except friends and 
family and was as generous with her possessions as she was with her affection. She hugged everyone who 
would hold still long enough. If she owned something that she thought would give someone else pleasure, 
she gave it away. She believed that every living soul is one of God's children, even if some are lost children. 
I don't remember her ever saying a mean or ill-intended word about another person. 

My mother's beauty was her spirit, her intellect, her emotional warmth and empathy for others, her own 
radiant joy in the beauty of God's creation. She was a woman who loved the Lord and everyone else within 
reach. 

My sisters and I, the only maidens available, learned feminine culture from other sources and not from our 
mother. From her we learned to believe in God and in ourselves, to notice the incredible beauty of our natu- 
ral surroundings, to respect the earth and cause intentional harm to no living thing. We learned to use our 
own gifts to help others and to strive to make the world a better place for having been here. 

My mother may not have been exactly the virtuous woman described by King Solomon, but her value to her 
family and friends was far above rubies. Our father's life was enriched by her presence, far more than if he 
had treasures of gold and silver. And her children do, indeed, rise up and call her blessed.* 



15 






r 








been involved in the high school drama for years. 
They'd also done dinner theaters in the community. 



ACW: How would you compare the dinner theater to 
community opera? 



ACW: What other things prepared you for this role, 
Brian? 

Brian: I worked with a gentleman from Russia who 
was the lighting director for the Kirov's Ballet. He 
taught me a lot about lighting and rigging. 

ACW: What was the church's first production? 

Tim: h was called Every Crook and Nanny. We 
didn't have the resources to do a full dinner theater, 
so we had a dessert at intermission. That was seven 
years ago. 

ACW: Did it have a Christian message? 



Brian: It's on a smaller scale, technically. But, as far 
as having talented people, we're as well equipped as 
the opera. 

ACW: Who selects the scripts? 

Tim: Debbie and Brian. If we go with a company 
like Lillineas, we don't have to worry about it. We've 
had to edit some other things we've used. They may 
be funny, but not appropriate for everybody. 

Debbie: Lillineas has Christian material that's clean 
and fun, but it doesn't "hit them in the face" with a 
sermon. 



Tim: Not really. The whole idea was to produce a 
quality evening that Christians could bring their 
non-Christian friends to, just for the sake of build- 
ing relationships. 



Does I 



Debbie: We started it purely as an outreach - a 
night of fun and fellowship and networking. It 
wasn't meant to have a religious theme, but to bring 
people together. But, occasionally, we slip in a little 
message. 

ACW: Was there any resistance to that kind of low- 
key approach among your members? 

Tim: Some people think that everything we do 
should have a strong spiritual message. But a lot of 
them change their thinking after watching others 
use the dinner theater to establish friendships, or 
build better friendships. It allows people to see 
our church and find out that we're not a bunch of 
psychos in here. 



ACW: Why did you come t( 

Michelle: One of the gr^'^ '" ^^^ ^^'^^' "'^' 
for our construction company, and a frr 
invited me. 

ACW: What do you think it's going to be 
like? 

Michelle: I've heard it's prettv funnv. 



ACW: You came because a friend asked 
vou to come? 



ACW: How good are the plays you do? 

Tim: They're as good as any local production that's 
done without professionals. Brian taught drama at 
the high school. Dan Bard, who also helps us, has 
been in all kinds of productions at the opera house. 



Judy: Yes. She asked if I was interest 
and told me what it was about. I thouj 
sounded like it would be a good timp 



18 



ACW: Have you always had the plays in the 
church's facilities? 

Tim: We actually started at the Hinkley School 
and had it there for four or five years. 

ACW: Since then you've built a gym, which you 
also use for dinner theaters. Was that a hard sell to 
the congregation? 

Debbie: Yes, there was a lot of discussion about it. 
It was expensive; that's why we said we'd do two 
plays a year. We usually don't have to advertise 
in the fall. The hospital is our biggest audience. 1 
sell tickets to the church for a week and then go to 
the hospital. We started doing two nights with 160 
attendance. Last fall we did six nights and had 
230 people in attendance each night. So, it's really 
grown. 




BIcssl'lI Hope s new state-of-llie-cvt Diii/tipurpo.se building spec ific alh 
designed for eommunity oiitreueb 



ACW: How do your members help if they aren't act- 



ACW: What do you usually charge? 

Tim: For a play with dessert we started at $8.00; but 
people told us we should charge more, so we in- 
creased it to $12.00. For a dinner theater, we charge 
maybe $20.00. 

ACW: Do you make a good amount of money? 

Tim: Last year we made $10,000.00 for the six 
nights. That's what we cleared after paying for the 
food. 

ACW: What do you do with the profits? 

Tim: Some of our proceeds go to the oncology unit 
at the hospital. The hospital helps us tremendously. 
We rent things from them like tablecloths and nap- 
kins, and we buy food through them. This year the 
proceeds go to Cancer Survivors Day. 

ACW: Do a lot of your members bring non-Christian 
friends? 

Tim: Many do. But it's become such a big deal that 
we have as many people coming without anybody 
from our church inviting them. 



Tim: People from our congregation wait on tables, 
cook the desserts, clean up afterwards, work in the 
kitchen, do dishes, and wash pots and pans. 

ACW: Joyce, how have you helped with the produc- 
tions? 

Joyce: Usually I wait on tables. 

ACW: How do you think the dinner theaters have 
affected the church? 

Joyce: They've made the community more aware of 
us. 

ACW: Are the actors and actresses all from your 
church? 

Tim: A lot of them are not. But when some non- 
Christians want to act, they end up being with us 
through all the nights of rehearsal. In the process, 
we develop some really neat relationships and often 
have opportunity to witness to them. 

ACW: Have you seen people become involved in 
your church as a result of the theater? 



19 



Tim: The first year we did it in honor of a man who was battHng cancer. He eventually died, but his family 
started coming to church. Other people have also come as a result of being involved. 

ACW: Has this kind of outreach changed the perspective of your people? 

Tim: It's one of the causes of change. We went through Dann Spader's material, and took a serious look 
at everything we were doing, asking, "Is this for us, or for people outside the church?" We were like most 
churches; almost 100% of everything we did was for us. We weren't doing much to reach out. But you can't 
just start sharing the gospel with everybody; you have to build relationships. That's the idea behind the din- 
ner theater. 

ACW: What other outreaches have you done? 

Tim: We do Super Bowl parties. We invite the 
community to come, and we provide the food 
at no charge. We have a short intermission 
with a video of a Christian athlete giving a 
testimony. That's sl planting event, because it 
presents the gospel. The King's Kids drama 
also does planting because there's always a 
Christian message in it. We also have the 
Living Last Supper, a drama where actors 
pose like DiVinci's painting, and each 
disciple gives a testimony. Then, once 
a year, we invite the Down East Boys 
to do a Gospel Music concert. That's a 
reaping event, because they actually 
invite people to receive Christ into 
their lives. 

ACW: Do you think you'll ever do 
a heavy drama or one with a social 
agenda? 

Tim: Yes, I think we could. Last 

year the script presented the idea 

that a relationship with the Lord 

is what really matters in all 

of life. We had people fill out 

feedback cards, and one couple 

said public theater should leave 

Christian stuff out of it. But 

we don't consider ourselves 

a public theater; we're a 

church. Most of the feedback was really positive.* 




20 



Faith 




«-' 



/^ 



the 
midst of 



I 



'&i 



By Melvca Storman Waterman 



I went in for my first ultrasound, excited as every mother is, wondering if it was a boy or a girl. I wanted to hear a heartbeat 
and know everything was okay. We learned that she had 10 toes and fingers and weighed about a pound and a half Our 
doctor noticed that the baby's lungs did not look right — they were enlarged. He arranged for us to go to the Children's 
Hospital of Philadelphia to see specialists. Not much else was said at that time. 

Two weeks later we flew to Philadelphia. After a fetal echo cardiogram, MRI and a high-tech ultrasound, they were able to 
diagnose that our daughter had Congenital High Airway Obstruction or C.H.A.O.S. There was a webbing of skin or cyst 
completely blocking the airway to the lungs. As a result, her lungs were enlarged and her diaphragm was flattened. There was 
danger of her heart tilting and her abdomen filling with a dangerous fluid called ascites. 



21 



We were told that less than twenty babies have been diagnosed with C.H.A.O.S. world-wide and only a handful has survived. The 
outcome in each case was vastly different. 

Then came the words, "abortion is still an option." We quickly blurted out, "That is not an option!" 

We wondered, "Where do we go from here?" Fetal surgery was suggested. They explained that the fetus would be taken par- 
tially out of the womb and all of the blockage in the airway surgically removed. Then the fetus would be returned to the womb to 
continue developing and be delivered closer to the normal due date. They suggested that this would, hopefully, prevent any further 
damage. However, this had only been done on fetal lambs and was unsuccessful. At that point it was the best chance we could 
give her, and we decided to do it. 

We came back home and infonned our families and church. The prayer chain was activated and prayers began going up every- 
where. 

The plan was to go to Philadelphia Children's Hospital and stay there until long after the baby was bom. Arrangements were made 
for people to stay with me after the surgery, for as long as I would be on complete bed rest. We would stay at the Ronald McDon- 
ald house in Camden, N.J. 

Scott and I returned to Children's Hospital on Dec.l, 2003, prepared for what was ahead. When we had our next ultra sound, ev- 
erything was the same, but it hadn't worsened. The doctor said " 1 don't know what you are doing, but go back to Ronald McDon- 
ald House and tell the other mothers there to do the same thing." We told him about all the people who were praying for us. He 
said, "It is working." 

We needed a miracle, and we got it! 

We returned home for the holidays and continued weekly ultrasounds to make sure everything was all right and did not worsen. 

After New Year's Eve we went back to the hospital, and on February 13, 2004, our daughter. Faith Ann Watemian, was bom by 
E.X.I.T. procedure (Ex Utero Intrapartum Treatment), with the help of twenty-five medical personnel. A twelve-inch incision was 
made, and the baby's head and shoulders were wrapped in foil to keep her wann. They were allowed only 45 minutes to perfonn 
a tracheotomy to make sure she had a source of air. The tracheotomy was successfully done in less than 45 minutes. Then she was 
taken out into the hall to meet her Dad and anxious grandparents before going to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. 

1 was sent to another hospital, so it was two days before I got to see my beautiful, petite daughter. She weighed 5 lbs. 6ounces 
and was 18 V2 inches long. Wc couldn't hold her for 14 days. 1 didn't feel much like a mother, except that I was providing milk. 
This was not how I pictured being a mother. Where was that special bond? Mothers arc supposed to nurture, and all I could do 
was stare at her. That is what 1 did for eight to 12 hours a day while she was there, attached to a feeding tube, air tubes, and a lot 
of other monitoring devises. 

Scott and I had to leam how to take care of a baby with a tracheotomy. We learned how to clean the tubes, change the trach which 
needed to be inserted into the hole in her throat, insert the feeding tube, infant CPR, and how to take over much of her daily care. 
We were finally beginning to feel like parents. 

Faith did not know life beyond her crib in the N.I.C.U. for three months. When she did come home, it was surreal. The best part 
was that she was home nine months ahead of schedule. She was truly a miracle. 

Faith is now six months old and eats from a bottle. She has physical, occupational and speech therapy, weekly. A home nurse 
comes in to weigh her two times a week. She will not be able to talk until after she has surgery to remove the webbing. The doc- 
tors say she will have the surgery when she is 18 months to two-years old. We are teaching her sign language. We cannot hear her 
laugh, cry, coo or giggle, but wc arc learning to listen to the air exchange through her trach that resembles these sounds. 

Faith is truly a miracle and the absolute delight of our lives. After all she has been through, she smiles all the time and has a won- 
derfully calm and peaceful spirit. She is the result of faith-filled prayers from so many people in so many places. Thanks to so 
many of you for your prayerful support, and thanks to my husband, Scott, who stood strong by our side through all of this. Most 
of all thanks to GOD who is still working Miracles. "fr 

Melyca Storman Waterman is daughter-in-law of Rev. and Mrs. George and Carol Waterman. 
She and her husband, Scott, attend the Oxford Advent Christian Church in Oxford, Maine. 

22 



L 




Faith and her grandmother, 
Carol Waterman 


23 



A WORD FROM 
OUR PRESIDENT 



There are many catchy phrases used in advertising these 
days. One that stands out in my mind lately is used by a 
credit card company to tout the advantages of their card 
over the others. The phrase, "What's in your wallet?" offers a tre- 
mendous challenge to every disciple of Christ. 

It has been said that Jesus taught more about money than any other 
subject. Some have suggested that he did so knowing human na- 
ture so well. The thing people value the most is what they will give 
themselves to wholeheartedly. Certain teachings of Jesus bear out 
this truth. The account of the widow (Mark 13:4 If) is one of them. 
A commonly used passage in Matthew's Gospel is another. Jesus 
said, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." 
(Matthew 6:21) 

In that same passage, Jesus reminds his followers that, "No one can 
serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, 
or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other." And then to 
clarify what he means, Jesus adds rather emphatically, "You cannot 
serve both God and money." (Matthew 6:24) 

Here lies the challenge for followers of Christ. Don't let your love 
of money get in the way of your devotion to Jesus. While most 
Christians give verbal assent to Jesus as "Master," it behooves ev- 
ery disciple of Christ to "put your money where your mouth is." In 
other words, discipleship requires devotion that is evident by one's 
actions. Dear Christian, you cannot have your cake and eat it too! 

Advent Christians have been known as giving people. 1 believe it 
is because of our devotion to Jesus and to the work of his kingdom. 
This is no time to change! In fact, the work of Christ through the 
Advent Christian Church demands a greater commitment to giving. 
It is time for all of God's people to demonstrate their devotion by 
responding as the Master desires. 

As the work of the kingdom moves forward, I urge you to prayer- 
fully consider your part. The challenge is great, but our God is 
greater! He will supply, through the faithful giving of his people, 
the resources necessary for the work of Christ around the world. 
It's time to take into account "what's in your wallet." Through the 
generous giving of Advent Christian people, we will accomplish 
much for God's glory!* 



(Editorial continued) 

"Could you send a truck to pick it up and bring it back to your 

shop?" 

"Well, Mr. Wheaton, unless you're willing to pay a transporta- 
tion fee, which would be pretty high, you'll probably want to 
bring it in yourself." 

"But, John! It's an unwieldy, eight-foot-long couch! 1 don't 
own a truck. What good is a lifetime warranty if I can't use it 
without renting a U-Haul and badgering friends to injure their 
backs helping me load and unload it?" 

"I'm sorry you feel that way, Mr. Wheaton, but that's company 
policy. We'll be happy to fix it if you bring it in." 

"Is it also company policy to make your customers bring in 
their faulty refrigerators, stoves, and washing machines?" 

"No, we have servicemen who repair those items in the home. 
But we don't do that with couches." 

"But why? This must be a three hundred pound piece of furni- 
ture we're talking about. Can't you please send a man out to fix 
it? We paid a lot for this because we were led to believe you'd 
provide better service than some fly-by-night discount store. 
Do you honestly think this is good service?" 

John finally suggested 1 speak with his supervisor, who eventu- 
ally decided to discuss the matter with the owner. After three 
weeks of my persistent phone calls, two men came to our house 
to reattach the brace with a single screw. The job took three 
minutes, tops. 

At some point 1 realized that my frustrating furniture repair 
experience was a kind of parable illustrating how many 
unchurched people must feel. Like broken couches, they need 
repair. (Don't we all?) They need foundational truths reattached 
to their sagging lives, a spiritual spring replacement, and a 
moral reupholstering. 

I suspect many unchurched people are aware of their need for 
a "service call." However, we in the church usu- 
ally expect them to come to us for repairs "on-site." 
Promiscuous teens can get their morals refurbished if 
they'll only join our youth group. Godless liberals can 
get their minds renewed if they'll just show up to hear 
our pastor expound the Word. Tree-hugging, rap-sing- 
ing, tattoo-bearing pagans will discover a new life in 
Christ, if they'll attend our Easter cantata. 
We'll do almost anything to get them into our "repair 
shop." We make special efforts to welcome folks, 
advertising in the newspaper and giving person?' 
invitations. "You need help? You need service? We're 
all about service here at First Church. Just come in 
between ten and twelve on Sunday. You'll find the an- 
swers you need right here at our convenient location." 



Many hear our invitations and feel like protesting, "My prob- 
lem is like a big, heavy, badly stained, smelly old couch - and 
you expect me to bring it to church?" The thought of doing 
that feels much too awkward, and it seems too great a distance 
for them to come, culturally speaking. 

Jesus had a much better repair strategy: he "came to seek and 
save those who were lost;" he "did not come to be served, but 
to serve..." (Luke 19:10; Matthew 20:28). Our Lord spent a 
lot of time doing "service calls," going to meet the needs of 
people right where they lived. That kind of service isn't easy, 
but he calls us to follow him - and promises to go with us (cf. 
Matthew 28:20). 

Advent Christian General Conference has vigorously promot- 
ed disciple-making for more than a decade. Faithful disciple- 
making requires service-calls. If we want to have an impact 
on unbelievers, we'll need to get involved with them wherever 
they are. This issue of the Witness focuses on the ministries of 
several of our Maine churches who are reaching out to those 
around them. (1 would love to hear similar stories about what 
your church is doing to make disciples — please send them!) 

Recently I learned of a ministry that holds Bible studies at 
Hooters. (For those who don't know. Hooters is a restaurant 
featuring scantily clad waitresses.) The Bible study leader jus- 
tifies meeting there by saying that Jesus was also sometimes 
found in unwholesome settings in his day. And that Hooters 
outreach has ministered to many waitresses and patrons who 
probably wouldn't have gone to a church. 

Holding a Bible study at Hooters may not be the right strategy 
for you or me, but the Lord wants us to make more "service 
calls" to unbelievers where they're living, working, going to 
school, and spending leisure time. Grab your spiritual tool 
kit (God-given compassion, friendliness, your testimony, a 
gospel booklet or pocket New Testament) and head for the 
door. There's somebody out there with a three hundred pound 
problem that just begs for you and the Savior to drop in and do 
some supernatural service call.'fr 




25 



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By Randee Davis, national W.H &,F.M>.SC,p'resideiit.' • . . ' ' N^yM«.,;A 



The founders of the Woman's Home & Foreign Mission Society reahzed that our organization should be 
made up of "locals" or "circles" to encourage unity and support of the local church. Each of these locals 
would have its own organization and personality. Many of the young women of today do not want to be a 
part of what some call "my Mama's circle." They express a desire to be a part of a younger organization. 
We are now somehow faced with the challenge of making the "circle" attractive to these young women. 

Circles have the power to make things better, because when women band together, life just seems to get 
better. It's kind of a "girl thing." As we all know, men and women are different. We respond to things dif- 
ferently. Men tend to fight or flee while women tend to connect and communicate. We form groups. That's 
how we get things done, and we can GET THINGS DONE! Women are organizational by nature. Circles 
also make wonderful "support groups." For anyone who could use some encouragement, a good laugh, 
wonderful fellowship and a life-changing mission, there's a circle. 

If circles are really so wonderful, why aren't our younger women rushing to join us? It could be that we 
haven't done a very good job of showing them how great it is to belong to a circle. For too long we have 
hidden our light under a bushel. The time has come for us to let our "circle" lights shine! We need to hear 
some success stories from circles who have already found the secret, turned the comer and are looking to the 
future with older and younger women alike. 

Younger women have different lifestyles than their Mothers did. They may not have time for the traditional 
monthly meeting and refreshments. Does every circle have to have monthly meetings and refreshments? 
Of course not! What about children and careers and all the other pressures young women are facing? Each 
circle should be designed to meet the special needs and circumstances of its individual members. If our goal 
is to enable women to be all they can be for Christ, we will have to do things difterently than we did 1 00 or 
50 or even 20 years ago. 

When you think about it, circles are really made up of "girlfriends." I read a story the other day that remind- 
ed me of my circle and what we mean to each other. It was very appropriately entided "Girlfriends": 

A young Wyoming girl sat under a tall oak tree sipping iced tea while she visited with her mother She was 
soon to wed and her mother had some really good advice to give her. 

"Don 't ever forget your girlfriends, " her mother said. "No matter how much you love your new husband, 
you 're still gonna need your girlfriends. You 'II need to still go places with them now and then, and do 
things with them, even when you might not necessarily want to. And remember that your relatives, your 
sisters, daughters, mothers and grandmothers are your girlfriends too. Women depending upon and relating 
to other women is our responsibility and our gift. " 



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"What a silly piece of advice, " the young girl thought to herself. After all, she would soon be married and 
become a part of the "couple-world. " She would no longer be a young girl who needed friends. She did 
listen to her mother though, because she loved her so and knew what a very wise woman she was. She kept 
in touch with her girlfriends and even found some new ones along the way. As the years passed by she 
gradually came to realize that Mom really knew what she was talking about! 

Here are some of the things she learned: Girlfriends bring you casseroles and clean your bathroom when 
you 're sick; they 11 keep your children and your secrets. Girlfriends give you advice, sometimes you take 
it and sometimes you don 't. Girlfriends don 't always agree with you, but they 'II always tell you the truth. 
Girlfriends still love you even when you disagree. Girlfriends laugh with you even when your joke isn 't 
funny. Girlfriends will give showers when your son or daughter gets married or has a baby. Girlfriends 
are always there for you even during the hardest times. They 're there to listen when you lose a job or a 
friend, or when your children break your heart. Girlfriends listen when your parent 's minds and bodies fail. 
They 're there with you when you say those painful "good-byes. " 

The young girl grew into a wise woman much like her mother She realized how her daughters, sisters, fam- 
ily and friends blessed her life! When she started out on her adventure, she had no idea what incredible joys 
and sorrows lay ahead. Nor did she know just how much she would need her "girlfriends. " 

When women band together they really do get things done! In 1 897 a group of "girlfriends" got together 
and started a circle of friends known as the Woman's Home and Foreign Mission Society. They all had in 
common their love for Jesus Christ and the desire to send the Gospel of His Kingdom throughout the world. 
Their intent was to unite the women of the Advent Christian churches in this great work. We cannot even 
imagine what these "girlfriends" have meant to each other, and more importantly, to the Lord through the 
years. We now need our younger "girlfriends" to join with us in keeping this work alive, because ours is 
truly an unending task to be performed until Jesus returns! We need YOU, girlfriend!* 



t*> 



w 



what mahe^ your 
group io- 
Special/? 



Featuring the Women 's Home & Foreign 
Mission Society of LaGrange Advent Christian 
Church of the Highlands, LaGrange, Illinois. 



We are referred to simply as the "Women's 
Group." We are the backbone of the 
church, as it is the Women's Group that 
rises to the occasion and supports all functions of the 
church. What works to our advantage is that many 
of our deaconess duties overlap into our WH&FMS 
role. Although our group may be small, we are solid 
with twelve dedicated women who serve Christ. I 
have come to appreciate the number 12, as it was 
the exact number Jesus chose for his disciples. The 
age group of members spans from early 30s to late 
60s. To keep the year organized, we have a meeting 
schedule, which meets the last Friday of each month, 
rotating in members' homes and including a separate 
devotional leader. We do make the most of our meet- 
ings as they also serve as a "break" for those mem- 
bers with young ones at home. 

Our agenda is as follows: 

Prayer, eat, fellowship, open the business portion of 
the meeting with prayer (holding hands in a circle), 
minutes, treasurer's report, old business, new busi- 
ness, devotional, end in prayer, dessert to follow 
with any additional activities planned for certain 
months. Did I mention eating? As we all know, food 
for women is a source of comfort and a major incen- 
tive. We do not hold back on WH&FMS nights! 
Dues and Least Coin are also collected during the 
business portion of the meeting. 
30 




Coritha Johnson, Kalliy Woolfuigton, Elaine 
Norwood, Vicki Breja, and Becky O 'Connell 

Activity wise, we have incorporated making ba- 
zaar crafts in the August meeting in preparation for 
our annual bazaar held in November. The bazaar 
is our largest fund raising activity throughout the 
year. For variety, we have added building Christmas 
Shoeboxes in the September meeting. We meet in 
October for a "Ladies Night Ouf which is held at 
different restaurants - we have a dinner fund that 
aids in the expense of this night. We host the Adult 
Christmas party in December that includes all mem- 
bers of the Congregation. At the Adult Christmas 
Party, we gather, fellowship, eat (of course!), listen 
to Christmas music and play dirty bingo. In addition, 
throughout the entire year, we participate in Secret 
Pals, where we secretly leave cards and small gifts 
for our sister in Christ to let her know how impor- 
tant and appreciated she is. The revealing is in our 
December meeting, and new names are then chosen 
for the following year. 

Donations include MAP International, Minute Man, 
Berkshire Christian College, LaGrange Nurses 
Association, Penny Crusade, Food Pantry, Church 
Women United (Least Coin), Samaritans Purse, 
birthday cards/monetary gift to missionaries, cards 
to Richard Fell Memorial Scholarship recipients. 



and % camp tuition for members' children. In addi- 
tion, we fulfill our obligation to the Church budget. 
In previous years we have purchased much-needed 
items for the church, such as a stove for the kitchen, 
new tables for activities, a portion of new carpeting 
and hymnals. 

With much of our duties geared toward foreign 
missions, I felt it necessary that we add more home 
missions to our circle. As a resuh, this past year we 
participated in the Chicago Sun Times, "Season 
of Sharing Program." This is a program where we 
provided Christmas gifts to inner city children. It 
deeply touched us to be involved in this effort, as 
the children wrote such humbling letters requesting 
basic necessities such as socks, hats, and school sup- 
plies. We provided for 15 children the first year, and 
pray that more people are led to participate in years 
to come. 

Particularly what makes us special is that we have a 
wide variety of women who use their God-given tal- 
ents to the best of their ability. Our group is clearly 
held together by heartstrings, as one member may be 
crafty, one may cook well, one may have administra- 
tive skills, another can sew, another has the gift of 
comfort and listening, one can recite scripture, one 
has a superior business sense, another can sing, an- 
other can teach, another can take studious notes and 
another can balance the books. The combined effort 
is what makes us so successful. With all of these 
gifts combined, we will continue steadfastly in our 
efforts to support the Region and the Conference in 
the main purpose - "to equip, encourage and enable 
Advent Christian women to use their gifts and op- 
portunities to share the Good News of Jesus Christ 
faithfully, urgently and sacrificially until he comes."' 



I feel that many of the women come and stay 
for the fellowship and the bond that our circle 
has. We make no judgment, and if someone is 
having a particular issue, they are able to talk 
freely and openly with the group. Similar to 
a common phrase associated with Las Vegas, 
our motto is "what is said in the women's 
meeting stays in the women's meeting." 
Our meetings are a time to rejoice and come 
together as women, to build one another up 



through prayer and devotionals. I can attest from a 
personal standpoint, late last year 1 was dealing with 
a very sensitive issue that seemed to escalate on 
nights the women were to meet. I feel deeply in my 
heart that God has placed this wonderful group of 
women in my life, not only to get us through trying 
times, but also to gather and lift up one another. 

As we move forward, I know there is so much more 
that we can be doing as a whole. I also know that the 
Holy Spirit has placed this on my heart and, through- 
out the year, provides me with fresh ideas, patience, 
a neutral disposition and with the leadership skills to 
guide our circle. 

Submitted by Sheila Jacobs 

Sheila has served as president for the past three 
years, and prior to this, as treasurer for five years. 
She is one of the youngest members in the group and 
it is very inspiring to her to know that the women 
have faith in her to continue the WH&FMS tradi- 
tion. 



We would like to hear from other locals. If you 
would like to have your group's story featured in 
thQ AC Witness^ send your reports and pictures 
to Randee Davis at 2201 Olde Farm Road, Hud- 
son, N.C. 28638 or e-mail them to rdavis@co. 
Caldwell. nc.us. We really want to know What 
makes your group so special?* 



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Serials Dept 

CB# 3938 Davis Library 

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I. . I. Mm, 1. 1, 1,,.. II. I. J, 



Witness 



Volume 52, Issue 5 

www.adventchristlan.org 

1-800-676-0694 

Editor 
Keith Wheaton 

Assistant Editor 
Jan Thomas 

Contributing Editor 
Tom Warner 

Proofreader 
Kathy Wheaton 

Women s Ministry Editor 
Randee Davis 



Advent Christian 
General Conference 



Julia Brock Missions Secretary 

WorldMissions@adventchristian.org 
Nancy Brooks Exec. Director Secretary 

ExecDirect@adventchristian. org 
Shirley Efird Bookkeeper 

Trena Efird Missions Secretary 

lVorldMissions@adventchristian.org 
Helen Hagler Printer/Mailroom 

AmyJoiinson Bookkeeper 

Donna Martin Printer/Mailroom 

Harold Patterson World Missions Director 

WorldMissions@adventchristian.org 
Tina Pressley Venture Bookstore 

Venture@adventch ristian. org 
Mary Ritchie Church Relations Secretary 

MaryRitchie@adventchristian.org 
John Roller Urban/Ethnic & Resource Center 

JRoller@adventchristian. org 
Dawn Russell Venture Bookstore 

Venture@adventchristian. org 
Richard Russell Church Relations Director 

ChurchRelations@adventchristian.org 
Dawn Rutan Information Services 

DRutan@adventchristian.org 
Jim Smith Finance/Services 

Services@adventchristian.org 
Jan Thomas Assistant Editor 

Jan Thomas@acgc. us 
Ron Thomas Executive Director 

ExecDirect(d adventchristian.org 

Keith Wheaton Publications Coordinator 

KeithCaacgc.us 



International Missionaries 



Area Directors: 

Scott Dombrosky — Latin 

America/Short-Term Missions 
sdombrosk\'(cv,comcast. net 
John Gilbert — Team Leader 
john@99plus 1 . org 
Frank Jewett — Europe/Africa 
Jjewett(a),megalink. net 
John Roller — Urban/Ethnic 
Jroller(a>adventchristian.org 
Clio Thomas — Asia/Pacific 
cliowestva@msn. com 
Honduras 

David Vignali (5/10) 
c/o Teen Missions 
P.O.Box 4094 
San Pedro Sula 
HONDURAS 
tmihondu@nets\'s. hn 
Liberia 

Abraham David 
Advent Christian Church 
PO. Box 4669 
Monrovia, LIBERIA 
advent_christian@yahoo.com 

Malaysia 

Victor and Nesamony 

Devadason, 

Beaulah Margreat Devasa- 

hayam 

Al-Shadai Illam 

No. 24 Jalan Pandan 1 2 

Taman Dato Hormat 42500 

Teluk Panglima Garang 

K. Langat, Selangor 

MALAYSIA 

acbcmaIaysia@yahoo.com 

James and Mercy Devadas- 
son 

20 Jalan Intan 4 

Taman Intan 

86000 Kluang, Johor 

MALAYSIA 

adventchristian@, hotmail. 



Ruth Devairakkam 

36 Jalan 14/2 
Taman Sri Kluang 
86000 Kluang, Johor 
MALAYSIA 
rulhadventiaivahoo.com 



Philippines 

Jeff and Penny Vann 

(7/14 & 5/12; Elizabeth, 
10/24; Connie, 3/29; 
Naomi, 10/11) 
P.O. Box 225 
9000 Cagayan de Oro 
Philippines 
Jeffvann(g), acgc.us 
pennyvann@acgc. us 

Grant Aldridge (7/27) 

PO. Box 223 

9000 Cagayan de Oro 

Philippines 

aldridge@home.philcom.ph 



National Missionaries 

Memphis 

Francis and Lyne Ssebi- 

kindu 

2 1 75 Carrollwood 
Cordova, TN 38018 
fssebikindu@ worldnet. 
att.net 

Mexico 

Juan "Martin" Camacho 

Valdez 

c/o John Gilbert 
PO. Box 9019 
Calexico,CA 9223 1-90 19 

Miguel and Maria Mena 

c/o John Gilbert 

PO. Box 9019 SF 168 

Calexico,CA92231-90l9 

Croatia 
Desire Ahola 

PO. Box 29 
Nova Gradiska 
35400 CROATIA 
ajo_c_euroconference 
@hotmail.com 

Ghana 
Simon Bissah 

A.C.C. 

PO. Box 604 

Nsawam, Eastern Region 

Ghana 

simbissah@yahoo.com 



India 

Earl and Martha Wright 

(4/16 & 10/17) 
RO. Box 3 1 64 
Guindy Chennai 600 032 

wright@md3. vsnl. net. in 

Ernie Schache (1/29) 

1 6 Coventry Way 
Torbay, North Shore City 
Auckland 1311 
New Zealand 
wschache@pctra. co. nz 



Namibia 

Moses Angbongy 

RO. Box 25473 

Soweto 

Windhoek, NAMIBIA 

blessedhope62@hotmail. 

com 

New Zealand 
David Burge 

12 Bettina Place 

Manurewa 

Auckland, NEW ZEALAND 

dburge@slingshot. co.nz 

South Africa 
Nathan Fernando 

14 Dick Muller Drive 
NorkemPark 1620 
S.AFRICA 2028 
nathankf@excite. org 

China 

All correspondence should 
be channeled through the 
missions office. 



.Advenl Chiislicin Witness (ISSN #0741-4302) is published bimonthly by the Advent Christian General Conference of 
America, 14601 Albemarle Rd.. P.O. Box 23 1 52. Charlotte, NC 28227. Subscription rates in the United States and Canada: 
One year $15.00. Single copy $2.75. Overseas rate, one year $18.00. Periodicals postage paid at Charlotte, NC. and ad- 
ditional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Advent Christian Witness. PO. Box 23 152, Charlotte, 
NC 28227. Printed in Canada. 

As the official publication of the Advent Christian General Conference, the Advent Christian Witness publishes the 
teachings of the Advent Christian Church and promotes the task of disciple-making both in North America and around the 
world. The views expressed in this magazine are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those of the editor or 
the Advent Christian General Conference. Member: Evangelical Press Association. Copyright © 2004. 



From the Editor 



Contents 




We're moving! For several years Kathy and I have been hoping 
to swap our current house for something with more space. We 
like to have guests in our home, but it's hard to make them feel 
comfortable when they have to share a chair with one of our 
children. Our new house will have more than twice the living 
area. The realtor thinks it will require a literal ''act of God" for 
us to work out the details; but, so far, we're scheduled to both 
sell our home and buy another in a single day. 

So lately I've been thinking a lot about moving. Few things 
offer as much grief. There's the cost, the time-limitations, the 
damaged possessions, and the dented walls. The very day we 
sell our house we'll have to vacate the property, and, since we 
can't finalize the purchase of the other house until that same 
day, we'll have no place to vacate to. So we'll have to rent a 
moving van and store everything we own in it for the interim. 
Since the house we're buying is 65 years old and looks like 
it's never seen a vacuum or mop, my wife plans to devote an 
entire day to hunting dust bunnies and disinfecting bathrooms. 
I'm scheduled to spend the day making trips between my new 
castle and the dumpster, carrying away everything the current 
occupants are sure to leave behind. (We're buying a house 
and we still haven't seen ninety-percent of the floors and not a 
single closet wall!) 

Of course, before either house could be bought or sold, I had to 
watch a complete stranger (a.k.a. "housing inspector") ruthless- 
ly and maliciously examine every square inch of my domicile. 
This gives me the opportunity to spend every waking minute, 
up to closing day, fixing problems with my house that don't 
even exist! When the housing inspector couldn't find any real 
problems with our house (which is only nine years old), he fo- 
cused his attention on future problems, such as a roof that may 

(Continued on page 25) 



What is Disciplemaking? 4 

Rev. David Ross 

A Room with a View 6 

Dr. Thomas S. Warren II 

No Peace at the Party 8 

Rev. Brent Carpenter 

Six iVIistal^es Every Church Should 
Avoid 10 

Dr. Billy A. Melvin 



What About Advent? 

Dr. Edward Fudge 

A New Season 

Rev. Tim Fox 

A Word From Our President 

Rev. Glenn Rice 

As Children 

Dawn Russell 

Diagnosis: Cancer 

An interview with Sylvia Baker 

Move Over, Rosa Parks! 

Randee Davis 



14 
18 

24 
26 
28 
30 



^lyamMAKiNG? 



BY REV. DAVID ROSS 




Three Men Who Shaped My Life 




Rev. David W. Davis 



Several months ago one of our pastors, Rev. David W. 
Davis, wrote to ask the following question: 

'We have heard a lot about disciplemaking over the 
past few years, hut I would like someone to tell me 
exactly what it means to make disciples. Would you 
please publish a good explanation of what is involved 
in making disciples? " 

To answer this question we asked one of Advent Chris- 
tian General Conferences leading proponents of disci- 
plemaking, former executive director Rev. David Ross, 
to share his views and experiences on the subject. The 
following is part one of a three-part series answering 
the question: 



What is disciplemaking? 



The rustic cabin was small. In fact, had I not been only ten years old, there 
wouldn't have been room to stand upright in the upstairs loft where our two 
bunks were. On one of these bunks I sat waiting for Dad to return from the 
altar service in the big tabernacle. Several New England campgrounds have honored 
the tradition of the early Millerites, who had little time or interest for modern ameni- 
ties in construction of their buildings. After all, since Jesus is returning soon, why be 
bothered with painting the buildings or furnishing them with creature comforts? 

But the rustic old cabin seemed like a palace to me, because I got to share the whole 
week there with my dad. Night after night he would preach his heart out in the big 
tabernacle, then remain to pray with the earnest seekers who made their way down 
the aisle to kneel in repentance at the old wooden altar. This night he remained 
longer than usual, counseling with a rough, stocky fellow who just could not seem 
to find assurance of forgiveness. "I'm just not good enough!" I heard the man wail 
these words again and again, until I drifted off to our cabin to await the completion 
of Dad's responsibilities. (continued on page 20) 



During the past few years Advent Christian churches have devel- 
oped a renewed interest in prayer. Many of these churches have 
dedicated part of their facilities for the purpose of prayer, creat- 
ing "prayer rooms" where members engage in the vital ministry 
of prayer. Even the national office of Advent Christian General 
Conference, in Charlotte, N.C., has designated a room to be used 
exclusively for prayer. Following is one church's experience in 
establishing their... 




By Dr. Thomas S. Warren II 



Pray continually (1 Thess. 5:17)! 

But in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your request to God (Phil. 4:6)! 

Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into the harvest (Mt. 9:37)! 

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, then I will 
hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land (2 Chr. 7:14). 

These types of admonitions fill the pages of the Scriptures and help the believer understand how im- 
portant it is to maintain a healthy relationship with God. From a divine perspective, God is interested 
in seeing a demonstration of a person's dependence on him, and nowhere is this seen more clearly 
than in the practice of prayer. Viewed from a human angle, prayer is the lifeline to the believer's source of 
strength and wisdom: God. 

Sadly, in many places prayer has become an addendum for the believer and even for the church. In years 
past, prayer was a more visible part of the daily Christian practice. Unfortunately, those who faithfully 
participate in a discipline of prayer today are few. 1 have believed for a long time that a praying church is an 
effective church. On the other hand, I also believe that a person or church that only talks about prayer, yet 
seldom prays, is ineffective in the end. If this is true, then what can be done to turn the church around not 
only in its view of prayer but its practice? 

(Continued on page 15) 



No Peace at the 









By Rev. Brent Carpenter 



In October, 2003, my wife, Glenda, and I found ourselves 
in Dallas, Texas. We were there to minister at the funeral of 
her brother, who had died at the age of 55 in a tragic work- 
related accident. At that time I think that we were all in shock, 
and the events of those few days seemed almost surreal. None 
of us could completely fathom the reality of his sudden demise. 
In those moments life took on an extremely somber hue, and 
we were overpowered by the reality of life's fragility. 

The funeral service was scheduled for two o'clock on Sunday 
afternoon. The family had risen early to go to the funeral home 
to spend a few hours together with the one they had lost. At 
about ten, my wife nudged 
my side and said, "I think we 
need to go to church." I had 
been feeling the same way. It 
was a perfectly natural thing 
for us. We had always found 
solace and strength in wor- 
ship and had no reason to feel 

particularly different on this Sunday. In fact, if anything, the 
sense of need was heightened by what we were facing. Being 
in a strange town, we looked up churches in the phone direc- 
tory and began searching through the neighborhood. We came 
upon several churches, some of which had already begun their 
services, and some that we did not recognize. We finally settled 
on a large, brick structure that looked fairly orthodox. 

We went in, sat down and were soon greeted by one of the ush- 
ers who welcomed us to the church. Before long the church be- 
gan filling up and music started playing. It wasn't particularly 
what we were used to. There were drums, guitars, saxophones 
and a kind of driving rhythm to the music, but it was well done 
and quite powerful. Then the choir entered and things really 
began to happen. We were told to jump to our feet and people 
around us began to whoop and holler as the choir began to 
twirl and shout to the beat of the music. Soon everyone around 
us was caught up in the moment; people were dancing in the 
aisles, kicking off their shoes and embracing one another with 
what 1 would consider wild abandon. For the second time that 
day my wife nudged me, but this time to say, "Get me out of 
here." I took her by the hand as we threaded our way through 
this human maelstrom, out the door of the church, across the 
parking lot to our vehicle, and only paused to breathe a sigh 
of relief as we locked the doors in the car to drive away. For 
the first time in my life, I had actually walked out of a church 
service. 



We went to church looking for 
peace, sanctuary and renewed 
hope. What we got was a party. 



Now I had something else to think about. What had just hap- 
pened? I have always been an advocate of celebratory worship 
and thought I could handle whatever the church had to offer. 
But this was too much, especially on this day. There was little 
doubt in my mind that this was probably a good, Bible-believ- 
ing body of saints, but they had failed us. We went to church 
looking for peace, sanctuary and renewed hope. What we got 
was a party. This got me to thinking about our church. We 
would be considered by many to be far too traditional, yet we 
do celebrate what God has done and is doing in our midst from 
Sunday to Sunday. But then, we also continue to have those 
quiet times as well. I found myself longing for some peaceful 
organ music, a time of silent 
prayer, a few moments to wor- 
ship quietly and corporately 
before my God, the God of 
all comfort and strength. And 
then 1 began to wonder, how 
many times have I, in the 
midst of celebration, failed to 
offer this component of worship for those who need it? We are 
a generation surrounded by noise. We wake up in the morn- 
ing to the sound of the alarm clock, and we drive to work to 
the blast of the radio. Our days are filled with talk, chatter and 
sound. Sometimes, we in the church have opted for society's 
bend in our quest to make worship exuberant, fresh and 
exciting. Perhaps we, too, have failed. We have been so busy 
entertaining ourselves, that we have not seen the hurt in our 
midst. We have not responded with compassion and care, but 
with noise. And sometimes, what we truly need is absent; quiet, 
peace and freedom from the world's cacophony. There are 
times in our lives when we must be still before God and experi- 
ence his comforting hand on our shoulder. To find as Isaiah did, 
that in quietness and trust we find our strength. 1 began to pray 
that I will be more sensitive to the people around me; that I, as 
a pastor, will sense anew that what others may need is not more 
noise, but a peaceful calm assurance in Christ; and that we, as 
the church of Jesus, be diligent in providing it. 

1 found myself leaving Texas, with a profound sorrow still 
in my heart, but with a renewed resolve that our church be a 
cathedral of peace for the hurting, the hungry, those who are 
struggling and those who are in sorrow, that they might find 
cause to hope again in the arms of our merciful Savior. Perhaps 
1 have no greater calling in worship than this.'O' 



Rev. Brent Carpenter is pastor of Diilin s Grove Advent 
Christian Church, Charlotte, N. C. 





0^ 
0§t@ 









By Dr. Billy A. Melvin 

Over some fifty years of ministry, I have ob- 
served that churches often make serious mis- 
takes in how they provide for their pastor and 
his family. These mistakes place a tremendous 
strain on the pastor and may impact his ability 
to serve effectively or result in his early depar- 
ture to another field of service. 

Here are the six mistakes. Please consider each 
and ask yourself whether or not your church is 
guilty. 



10 



^^% The first mistake is balancing the church budget on the back of the pastor and his family. 

^ I What happens is this: Consideration is given to all budget items except the pastor's salary. 

V^ I Then, in light of the previous year's experience, new expense figures are established for 

I the coming year. These are then totaled to determine whether or not there is room in the 

I budget to give the pastor a raise or provide some benefit he should receive. 

^ ^J How often I've heard the statement: "We know our 

pastor is underpaid and we'd like to do more for him 

but our budget won't allow it." When this is said, 
what has happened? Simple. The church budget has been balanced on 
the back of the pastor. He is the one who pays for the church to have a 
balanced budget: 

The way to avoid this mistake is to consider the pastor's salary and 
benefits before considering the other items in the budget. The first 
goal should be to do what is fair and right for the pastor in light of 
his education, experience and ability, even if some other items in the 
budget have to be cut or eliminated (A good standard in most commu- 
nities is the pay scale of school principals in the local school system). 





The second mistake is failure to recognize the loss of personal income to a pastor if he 
has to pay all of his Social Security payments. 



Most pastors serving churches in a full-time capacity make 
their Social Security payments as a self-employed person. 
Unless the church assists the pastor in these payments his 
income is significantly reduced. 



Here is an example: Let's assume your pastor has an adjusted gross annual 
income of $30,000. His Social Security payment for the year 2000 is 15.30% 
of his salary or a total of $4,590. That's a hefty amount for a pastor to subtract 
from his annual income. True, if the church assists the pastor with his Social 
Security payments, he has to declare that money as income, but the cost to him 
is greatly reduced. 

It is my conviction that every church should provide at least 50% of the pastor's 
Social Security payment, if not all of it. 





The third mistake is thinking that the provision of a parsonage is a good deal for the 
pastor. The provision of a parsonage may be a good deal for the church, but it's hardly a 
good deal for the pastor. There are two reasons for this. 

First, I have noted a trend among churches to over-estimate the value of the parsonage to 
the pastor and his family when setting his salary. The congregation often is comfortable 
with the notion that although they are paying a small salary, they are providing a house 



11 



with all utilities. In most cases of this sort, the value placed on the 
provision of a parsonage and utilities is much higher than can be 
justified. 

And, second, what is really happening here? Isn't it obvious? The 
pastor and his family are making payments on a house they don't even 
own. In short, he is helping to buy or maintain a house for the church. It 
is for this reason that many older pastors, who have lived in parsonages 
all of their lives, have no place to go when they can no longer serve. For- 
tunately, more and more churches are seeing the fallacy of the parsonage 
arrangement and are providing loans and housing allowances, so pastors 
can purchase their own houses. 



The fourth mistake isfaUure to provide for the pastor ap 
propriate benefits beyond his basic salary. 







The needs of most pastors and their families go beyond a basic salary. 
Such provisions as health insurance, vacation time or sick days should be 
provided by the church. And when possible, still other benefits should be 
considered. Many churches today provide their pastor a budget for books 
and magazines, time away for conferences/seminars and occasional oppor- 
tunities for further education or study. 



In any annual review of your pastor's salary, make sure there is also a review of the benefits 
provided by the church. Your generosity in this area will help meet real needs and enable your 
pastor to serve you even better. 



The fifth mistake is assuming the pastor should cover any auto expense 
incurred in the fulfillment of his pastoral ministry. 



I'll never understand it, but it happens. Business-men who receive full reimbursement for 
their travel expenses in connection with their jobs will sit in a finance committee meeting 
of a church and make no provision to reimburse the pastor for his travel expenses. 



With the high cost of purchasing 
and operating an automobile today, 
the cost to a pastor is significant when he is expected to 
absorb the cost of miles driven in ministry. The least a 
church can do is to reimburse the pastor for the actual 
miles he drives in the fulfillment of his pastoral duties. 

In the year 2004 the mileage allowance by IRS was 
37.5 cents per mile. Every church should arrange for 
their pastor to keep a record of miles driven in minis- 
try, so he can be reimbursed monthly. 




12 



The sixth mistake is neglecting to provide a fair investment in a pension fund for the pas- 
tor, so there is some provision for his living expenses when he is no longer able to serve. 

Because a pastor seldom stays at one church for his entire ministry, churches don't see 
the impact this mistake has on his life and his family. Like everyone_else, it is prudent 
for a pastor to have a pension plan to supplement what 
income he may be able to receive from Social Secu- 
rity. I trust by now the leadership of every local church 
understands that it is most difficult, if not impossible, to 
live on Social Security alone. 



When a local church provides for the pastor's pension fund during the 
time he is serving that church, it is doing its part in providing for the 
pastor's retirement years. What is a fair provision? I suggest a goal of 10% 
of the pastor's annual salary as a minimum. 





^^^^^^^^N Although the above six mistakes were all I had 
^"■'^■r' y planned to write about in this article, there is another 
X ^ that comes to mind. It is failure to show appropriate 
M t love and appreciation to the pastor and his family at 

/ M Christmas time and other special occasions such as his birthday or the anniversary date 

/ / of his ministry at the church. Pastors, like all of us, appreciate expressions of love. At 

^^ such times, it isn't the dollar amount 

"^ of a gift that counts, but the fact that 

the church cares enough to say we 
love and appreciate our pastor. 

How does your church measure up? Are you appropriate- 
ly providing for your pastor and his family or still making 
the mistakes every church should avoid?* 




Billy A. Melvin has served as a pastor, denominational leader and was for 28 years the Executive 
Director of the National Association of Evangelicals. He is co founder of the Christian Association 
of Prime Timers, an organization serving Christian seniors. Dr. Melvin lives with his wife, Darlene, 
in Englewood, Florida, where he is involved in a variety of Christian ministries. 



13 





ABOUT 

AVWMT? 



By Dr. Ed Fudge 



Someone asks what Advent means in the Christian calendar, 
where it is found in the Bible, and whether Christians ought to 
observe it. 

Within 300-400 years after Christ, many Christians set aside an 
Advent season as a time for fasting, reflection and penitence to 
prepare for Epiphany, a day celebrating Christ's "epiphany" or ap- 
pearance to the Wise Men (in the Western church) or his baptism 
(in the Eastern church). With the evolution of Christmas as a 
special day on December 25, the focus of Advent gradually moved 
from Epiphany to the "coming" (adventus in Latin) of Christ at his 
birth. 

Advent later came to symbolize anticipation for Christ's second 
coming also, and the Western church dropped fasting during 
Advent. The season of Advent, which Catholics, Anglicans and 
Protestants begin on the Sunday nearest November 30, includes 
four Sundays and ends on Christmas Eve. (Eastern Orthodox have 
a longer, more solemn Advent season.) Many churches and homes 
now mark this season with wreaths, candles, special colors and 
religious calendars. It is a time for anticipating Christmas as the 
celebration of Jesus' birth, for anticipating his coming anew into 
our own hearts, and for anticipating his coming again in person 
and in power at the End. 

The word "Advent" does not appear in the English Bible, but 
the idea behind that word — the "coming" of the Messiah — runs 
through both Old and New Testaments. Luke tells of Simeon and 
Anna who eagerly awaited the coming of the Messiah, and who 
joyfully recognized him in the infant Jesus (Luke 2:25-38). The 
apostle Paul describes Christians as people who now eagerly await 
Christ's second coming (1 Cor. 1:7; Phil. 3:20; 2 Tim. 4:8). Since 
neither Jesus nor his apostles specifically commanded Advent (or 
Christmas or Easter), Christians cannot be faulted who choose not 
to observe these religious holidays. But neither is there any harm 
in using these special occasions to remember and to celebrate the 
important events which are certainly at the heart of our Christian 
faith (Rom. 14:5-6).* 

© 2002 Edward Fudge - Unlimited permission to copy without 
altering text or profiteering is hereby granted subject to inclusion 
of this copyright notice. Visit website at www.EdwardFudge.com 
for thousands of pages of spiritual resources. To subscribe, send 
request to gracEmail(a]EdwardFudge.com. 



(Warren Continued) 

Recently, in an attempt to address this need, our 
church estabHshed a prayer room. To me, this was 
simply an act of obedience in light of Jesus' procla- 
mation that the church first and foremost would be a 
"house of prayer" (Mt. 21:13). Churches are known 
for many things but few are known for prayer. We 
believe that a prayer room can become a strategic 
way for a church to focus the prayer lives of their 
members toward the relevant needs of the ministry 
and beyond. The steps taken by a church in develop- 
ing a prayer room will vary from place to place, but 
we have discovered a few ingredients that must not 
be overlooked. 

First, the appearance of your prayer room will go a 
long way in setting the atmosphere and climate for 
prayer. Softer colors and peaceful surroundings will 
always be a plus. In addition, pictures that set the 
scene are very important. The development of our 
prayer room became a team effort when we asked 
one of the ladies in our church with tremendous 
artistic abilities to paint a picture in the room that 
would create a spirit of worship. The end product 
■ was a garden and sunset scene with Jesus praying. 
Anyone entering the room is immediately ushered into 
the spirit of the room by the tone that has been set. 

Next, we wanted to help our people with the process 
of praying through our needs. Once again, we re- 
turned to the Bible for a model. After careful con- 
sideration, it seemed clear to us that Jesus not only 
gave us his plan for advancing the gospel throughout 
the world (Mt. 28:19-20) but that he also gave us a 
plan of action to guide our prayers. We are not only 
to take the gospel from Jerusalem to the ends of the 
earth, but we are also better able to succeed at car- 
rying out the Great and Everyday Commission if we 
direct our prayers along a similar path. Therefore, 
it seemed wise to arrange our prayer room along 
these lines. As one enters the room he will quickly 
notice it is divided into four major stations: Jerusa- 
lem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth. Each 
station is anchored by a beautiful yet simple shelf 
(also made by one of our members) that becomes the 
launching place of our prayers concerning Jerusalem 
(local church needs), Judea (Jacksonville and greater 



metropolitan area), Samaria (PL Conference) and 
the ends of the earth (USA, World Missions). In the 
corner one will find a chair strategically located by 
the "pray for the world map." A person can sit in this 
chair and select anyplace in the world for which to 
pray. From the chair a person can be reminded of 
why they are there in the first place as they read the 
calligraphied Scripture that circles the entire room. 
This, accompanied by the soft tunes of praise and 
worship music filling the air, enables a person to 
truly be blessed and motivated to become a person 
that practices the habit of purposeful prayer. 

Many folks in the church have been a part of this 
project, making it both doable and rewarding. In the 
end, we have established a place where much can 
happen and where ministries begin. People can let 
go of their worries in a room like this. They can gain 
strength for whatever faces them outside the room. 
Some can simply get away from the hustle and bustle 
of the busy world outside and spend time with their 
Lord. In a way, a prayer room provides a view that is 
often lacking in the church and in the life of the be- 
liever. A room like this creates a real possibility for 
God to speak to his people. A room like this makes a 
powerful statement to the Lord concerning our need 
for him. In a room like this the admonitions from the 
Scriptures to become men and women of prayer can 
become true. 

So what's keeping you? Isn't there a place in your 
church that you could turn into a sanctified place of 
prayer? Why not start right now and begin to make 
prayer more of a focus in your life and in the life of 
your church? It's not so hard to do, and the reward 
for this kind of investment is amazing. You won't 
be disappointed when you begin to see God work in 
the lives of your people because they have entered 
the room with a view — God's view! Go ahead and 
just do it. Create your own prayer room and see what 
God will do when his people become more commit- 
ted and involved in praying. -fr 

Dr Thomas "Sam" Warren II is pastor of the West 
Jacksonville Advent Christian Church, Jacksonville, 
Fla., and serves as recording secretary of the execu- 
tive council of Advent Christian General Conference. 



15 



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^01 v^ 



A New 

Season 



^^^ 




Life has about it various cycles, stages, and 
seasons. That is so throughout the fabric of 
our living, whether it is with our families, 
with our careers, or with our churches. There is a 
flow associated with our living that is unavoidable. 

In the summer of '03, Ruth and I were honored to 
participate in the wedding of our oldest son, Jeremy, 
and his lovely bride, Cara. As I was standing before 
the couple at the altar, speaking to them of God's 
plan from eternity past, I was struck anew with the 
fact that life has its seasons. Jeremy and Cara were 
entering a new season . . . and so were Ruth and I. 
We were doing so with joy and bright hope for the 
future. 

There is no escaping the cycles of life, but there 
certainly is a wide variance in people's responses to 
the coming of a new season. Some are so enamored 
with the past that it is their mission in life to pre- 
serve it at any cost. Others deal with the changes that 
life brings by trying to ignore them, with the hope 
that they will just go away. And there are those who 
embrace the new season, breathe in its fresh air, and 
see it as an opportunity for the serendipity of the 
Holy Spirit; God doing a new thing that flows out of 
the old. 



Do you remember Laban's response? "Let the girl 
remain with us ten days or so; then you may go" 
(Gen. 24:55). Laban was struggling to enter fully 
into the "God-thing" that was happening right before 
his very eyes. He could sense that God was in recent 
events, but there was part of him that wanted to hang 
on to Rebekah for a few more undetennined days. 
He wasn't quite ready to embrace the new season. 

More than Laban's hesitancy, though, I marvel at 
Rebekah's willingness. Rather than get into an argu- 
ment with the servant, Laban said, "Let's call the girl 
and ask her about it." And Genesis 24:58 records her 
faith-filled response: "I will go," she said. 

Three short words that are so important for God's 
people. Think about what they must have meant to 
this very young girl. A man comes out of the wilder- 
ness making certain claims. It seemed that it might 
be of God, but Rebekah did not know that man from 
Adam. And yet, she must have also sensed that 
God was afoot. God was doing a new thing. A new 
season in her life was about to blow in. Already, she 
was starting to breathe the air of it, smell the sweet- 
ness of it, feel the refreshment from it. With trust 
and hope she was ready to fully embrace it. The rest 
is history. 



I think of Rebekah, Isaac's wife. Remember the 
story of how Abraham was becoming concerned 
that his son Isaac had not yet married. He called his 
servant to his side and made him promise that he 
would seek out a wife for his son from among their 
own people. The servant then prayed and devised a 
test to help him discern what God was doing. Re- 
bekah wonderfully met that test — a very remarkable 
set of circumstances. Then, the servant, anxious 
to get back home, asked Rebekah's uncle Laban 
for permission to take her with him back to Isaac. 



"I will go," she said. 

For all of us, I believe that can be our only healthy 
response to the serendipity of the Holy Spirit. "Lord, 
I'm not sure I understand all the details and logistics. 
My common sense is a bit uneasy. But in my spirit I 
sense that you are afoot and I will go. I will embrace 
the new season. I will breathe deeply of its air, and 
let myself be refreshed by its life. I will go. With 
you. Lord, I will go."'!}' 



Rev. Tim Fox is pastor of Church of New Hope (AC), Lewis ton, Idaho, and senses on the executive council 
of Advent Christian General Conference. 



19 



(Ross cofif.) 



When Dad finally returned, duck- 
ing his head under the rafters as 
he ascended the narrow stairs to 
the loft, I asked, "Was he ever able 
to get saved. Dad? That man who 
didn't think he was good enough?" 
He replied, as he wearily laid his suit 
coat on the bed and sat down, "Oh, 
he could be saved if he wants to be, 
son. But, he still is pretty much stuck 
on himself Whenever he realizes 
that Jesus' sacrifice is bigger than 
any man's sin, he can be saved." As 
I pondered that thought. Dad spoke 
the words I'd been waiting all eve- 
ning to hear, "Let's you and me go 
get some ice cream!" 




T 'W. 



THE Evangelist 



Times like these shaped my life more than 
I ever realized at the time. The many occa- 
sions such as this one, times that Dad spent 
individually sharing his life and ministry 
experiences with each of his four boys, 
are a big part of the reason we all love and 
serve the Lord today. It was more than the 
fact that he was an evangelist. It was also 
that he freely and intentionally shared his 
passion for that calling and for his Lord 
with us. 



^' 



,^': 



Years later, when our denomination began 
to probe seriously what it means to obey 
Christ's Great Commission to be making 
disciples as a way of life, I came to better 
understand the tremendous impact of such 
practical, personal learning experiences. 
This I have come to believe: "Real learn- 
ing which impacts real living is a product 
of real relationships." While my dad has 
been the most important such relationship 
in my life, there have been others, too. 




20 



I 



Some called him "the day-old donut 
man." Baden Frewin worked for many 
years at Harris Bakery, and he hauled 
off cartons and cartons of unmarket- 
able product (known in those days by 
the politically insensitive label of "crip- 
ples") to share with family and friends. 
How wonderful that his family and ours 
were dear friends! In fact, we always 
had known him as "Uncle Baden." And 
when he regularly stopped by the house, 
opened the trunk of his car and invited 
us to help ourselves to the cartons of 
cripples, he easily became our favorite 
"uncle!" 



But Uncle Baden helped to make me 
the man I am today in much more than 
a physical way (i.e.- due to years of 
consuming a nearly unlimited supply of 
free donuts). He also discipled us boys relationally, due 
to his love for the Lord and his passion for the ministry 
of music. Often he would accompany my dad to evan- 
gelistic meetings as song leader and soloist. But he also 
was involved in countless music ministry opportunities 
all over the central Maine area where we lived. And it 
was his policy always to try to take along some of us 
"young fellas" and encourage us to use whatever talent 
the Lord had given. 

With Uncle Baden, we sang and played our instruments 
at county fairs, the Fairfield Sanitarium Easter Sunrise 
Service, and at churches and camp meetings in more 
towns and denominations than I can ever count. It was 
truly on-the-job training, and sometimes the job we did 
musically was rather pathetic. Uncle Bade's unflag- 
ging, enthusiastic encouragement meant a lot. But, his 
example meant even more. I have never known a man 
who could express his love for the Lord through vocal 
music with greater force. His rich, powerful bass voice 
could command your attention, but his exuberant love 
for Jesus called for your commitment! We loved just 
being with the man! It may have been the closest some 
of us ever have gotten to being with Jesus. Such is the 
powerful communication of intentional and relational 
ministry. 



THE Musician 





21 



.^ 



A few years later I went off to Bible 
college, feeling that the Lord was 
directing me to professionally prepare 
for some type of career ministry. At 
Berkshire Christian College I was 
impacted by many godly Christian 
leaders in the classroom. But perhaps 
the most profound impact from those 
years of formal instruction came not 
in the classroom, but in the relational 
training, which was called "intern- 
ship." For several weeks of my 
senior year, 1 was mentored by Rev. 
Cameron Ainsworth, who pastored 
the Emmanuel Advent Christian 
Church of Rochester, New Hamp- 
shire. Certainly that practical compo- 
nent of my education was designed to 
be both intentional and "hands on." 
But it was also intensely relational, 
to the extent that I not only shadowed 

the pastor day after day, but also lived in the parsonage with his family the entire time. Actually they led 
me to believe that 1 was truly a part of their family. So my experience of what it means to be a pastor did not 
stop at the office, the church, or the hospital. It continued on home to the parsonage each evening. 



THE Minister 




Since 1 was an adopted member of the Ainsworth clan, 
it would be a breach of ethics to reveal the bizarre 
things that regularly occurred behind those parsonage 
doors (although such disclosures would certainly add 
considerable entertainment value to this article!) Even 
your imagination probably would not do it justice! Most 
importantly, during those days 1 learned that Cameron 
Ainsworth is a man who deeply loves the Word of God, 
genuinely and warmly loves people, and dearly loves to 
have a good time, no matter what he may be doing! In 
all of these characteristics his example created within 
me a strong desire to have a passion such as his. 

My early life and ministry was shaped profoundly by 
these three men. The effectiveness not only was due to 
the power of example, but also to the incredible force of 
intentional and intimate learning relationships. My high- 
est calling has become to invest in the next generation 
of disciples with the same practical, intentional camara- 
derie. What better way to communicate the Word Who 
became flesh and lived among us? (John 1:14)* 




22 



Programs offered by 
the Office of Women ^s 
Ministries of the Advent 
Christian denomination: 

For Youth 

"Made for a Mission" a series of programs put together by a 
team of AC writers on the hves of great heroes of the faith. The 
book explores some basic questions such as, "What am I here 
for?" and "What is my purpose?" The aim is to challenge your 
young people to find their purpose in life. The WHFMS spon- 
sors this work, and it is the Young Women's Auxiliary's official 
program material for 2005. Price S6.00. 

For King's Jewels and 
Junior Action Groups 

"Missions" hy Karyn Henley (Standard Publishing), contains 
13 complete lessons all about missions. While the material 
is written for ages 8-1 1, it can be easily adapted for use with 
your younger King's Jewels-age children. The aim is for you 
and your children to have a great adventure together as you 
learn more about "Missions." Recommended by Randee Davis. 
Price $6.00. 

Supplement to KJ/JA 
program 2005 

"Advent Christian Missions Around the World" is an up-to- 
date missions supplement that includes pictures and informa- 
tion about Advent Christian Missionaries and their fields of 
service, along with Bible verses for your children to study and 
memorize. This booklet, compiled by Randee Davis, has been 
prepared by the WHFMS Office of Women's Ministries and is 
available to accompany the book. Missions, by Karen Henley. 
Price $2.50. 

Please order from: 

Office of Women's Ministries 
PO Box 23152 
Charlotte, NC 28227 

Telephone: Mary Ritchie at 1-800-676-0694 Ext: 221, or 
Email: MaryRitchie(a adventchristian.org 



TAadefora ^Mission 





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23 




Advent Christian 

General Conference 

Interim President 

Rev. Glenn Rice 



24 



A WORD FROM 
OUR PRESIDENT 



I can still hear the words echo in my mind. "Maybe it's time to close the 
doors." Another church had reached a point in her history where the past 
was definitely brighter than the present and the future looked more than 
dim. Should they close the doors forever? 

That scenario has been replayed many times over. Throughout our denomi- 
nation, churches even now may be considering the same question. Internal 
problems that refuse to be resolved or matters of morality among church 
leadership threaten congregations from within. Outside forces such as nearby 
mega-churches and the overall tenor of a post-modem society only adds to 
the dilemma. Dr. Clyde Hewitt writes passionately about this problem in his 
book. Devotion and Development. "How grevious it is to see a much loved 
church slowly die before your eyes. And how often has it happened to dedi- 
cated Advent Christians." 

Why do many of our churches remain small in attendance while others teeter 
on the brink of closure? Hewitt addresses some of the contributing causes to 
the "downfall" of some Advent Christian churches and the failure of this de- 
nomination "to be more expansive." Let me focus on one of Hewitt's reasons 
that I believe still plagues us today: "an acceptance of and a resignation to 
[our] smallness." 

The problem with smallness is that it tends to breed smallness, both in mind- 
set and in action. How many times have you observed a visitor entering a 
church for the first time only to be told they were sitting in "someone's seat"? 
I have seen this happen in each of the churches I have served! Too many of 
our churches are at a "comfortable level" and are easily threatened by the 
arrival of "new people." Hewitt's summarization of this mindset is a powerful 
antidote. "We are small in outlook, in dreams, in visions." 

It's time to change our thinking. The message we proclaim demands a louder 
voice! The darkness of this world needs brighter light! As Robert Dale writes 
in To Dream Again, "Small expectations yield meager results. Unhealthy vi- 
sions produce sick congregations." 

Paul's prayer for the saints in Ephesus ends with a powerful benediction: 
"Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we 
ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to him be glory in the 
church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." (Eph 3:20- 
21 NKJV) 

God grant that Advent Christian people will seek God to do more than we ask 
or think, that there might be glory in His church! 1}= 



(Editorial continued) 

leak sometime in the future. He's right. It will leak. . . in, say. 
ten or fifteen years! Unfortunately, the fact that it isn't leak- 
ing right now doesn't get me off his hook. So I need to have 
a roofer examine the shingles to detennine that they are nine 
years old and will probably have to be replaced. . . some day. 
Other things I have to fix include a kitchen sink sprayer (which 
we've never used and wasn't broken until he "inspected" it), 
and a bathtub spout that doesn't leak but needs to be sealed 
anyway. 1 also need to have a structural engineer examine the 
construction to make sure an outer wall won't collapse — even 
though county engineers inspected the structure numerous 
times during construction. 

Then there's the house we're buying. I have to pay another 
inspector to examine it and tell me things I already know. The 
house had termites — I know. The roof is old — I know. The 
place is filthy — I know. I'm hoping he'll also tell me some 
things I don 't know, such as whether the termites have been 
permanently banished from the building, and whether the old 
heating system might be a potential weapon of mass destruc- 
tion. 



to create that "better place," and that only after the world was 
more or less "Christianized" would Christ return. William 
Miller and his Adventist followers were considered heretics 
for preaching that Jesus' return was not dependent on man's 
efforts, and that his coming could happen immediately. 

The hopeful prospect of an imminent Kingdom of God led 
early Advent Christians to face far worse difficulties than any 
housing inspector could provide. Many lost homes, jobs, repu- 
tations and, in some instances, even their families. But they 
identified with the Apostle Paul's strong conviction: "I consider 
that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the 
glory that will be revealed in us" (Rom. 8:18). 

Recently I've discovered a truth that many of our third-world 
brothers and sisters hold as the bedrock of their hope: that 
present sufferings cause me to long for Christ's return and the 
Eternal Kingdom. Today's trials lead me to look for a bet- 
ter place — a place no moth or rust (or termite) can damage. 
There's nothing like poor health, or unpaid bills, or unfair treat- 
ment, or uncertain national politics to help my faith "look up." 



If both inspections can be negotiated and no one gets cold feet, 
arrested, or hit by a meteor, we'll spend four days packing, 
moving, signing, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, moving, and 
collapsing. Adding this to the prior two weeks of last minute 
necessary "home improvements" leads one to the logical ques- 
tion, "Why in the world would anyone subject himself to such 
an ordeal?" The simple answer is, "to be in a better place." 



As I suffer with the red tape of inspectors, realtors, lawyers, 
and lenders, I console myself with the hope of moving to a bet- 
ter house. Even more, as I suffer in a world plagued with AIDS, 
terrorism, hunger, poverty, crime, cancer, hurricanes, and all of 
Satan's lies, I find comfort by reminding myself that I'm bound 
for a better place, ruled by the King of kings and Lord of lords, 
whose return could happen even today. 'u' 



I know "a better place" is a purely subjective idea, and many 
may think I'm crazy to call a termite-ravaged bacteria farm an 
improvement over my nice new ranch-style house. But I've 
managed to convince Kathy we're "movin' on up," so we're 
willing to face temporary trials and hardship for the ultimate 
prize of living large. The belief that a better place awaits us, 
motivates us to face the hassles and obstacles we're currently 
facing. 



TWfwr^mw^^ 



It's not too great a stretch to compare this to the experience of 
our Advent Christian forebears. They were convinced that a 
better place was ahead for all of Jesus' followers In those days 
most other church-goers believed it was up to human beings 



tr^ 



.1 j:!::^ 



^;^##^*, 



fi i.««»,-AsJft»:«.JJi- 



CrypTOOrQIT^: Find the real letters these letters represent. Or\ce a letter Is 
decoded, It remains the same throughout the list. Look for recurring combinations of 
letters or repeated letters. (Hint: G = L) 

GPQ TV QAPD LFFSELMA QAP QASEDP EO BSLMP XKQA MEDOKUPOMP, VE 

QALQ XP RLZ 5PMPKHP RPSMZ LDU OKDU BSLMP QE APGF TV KD ETS 

QKRP EO DPPU. Hebrews 4:16 



^,,^ ONE STEP BEEOKE: change each letter to 
^^^ the letter that comes before it in the alphabet. 



r 



; 



EPO'U MFU BOZPOF MPPL EPXO PO ZPV CFDBVTF 
ZPV BSF ZPVOH, CVU TFU BO FYBNQMF GPS UIF 
CFMJFWFST JO TQFFDI, JO MJGF, JO MPWF, JO GBJUI 
BOEJOQVSJUZ. (I TIM. 4:12) 



r 



^# 



Ull.SCr3.lll.blG each of the clue words; then copy the letters in the 
numbered boxes to other boxes with the same number. 



4 9 5 

3 7 



EHTOSN 



LODYG 



EVRTUI 



2 1 



8 6 




Except ye become P.f> \\V\lC^ CfiffC're^tiTye snail not 
enter into the kingdom of heaven." 



tote 



i 



B = 2 N=ll 

C = 3 0=12 . 

D = 4 R=13 ^ 8 12 18 7 13 5 1 15 9 14 15 8 5 10 12 17 5 15 8 5 6 1 15 8 5 13 

E = 5 S=14 

p = 5 j^l5 1 8 1 14 10 1 17 9 14 8 5 4 12 11 16 14 15 8 1 15 18 5 14 8 12 16 10 4 

G = 7 U=16 

H = 8 V=17 ' - ^ 3 1 10 10 5 4 3 8 9 10 4 13 5 11 12 6 7 12 4 

1 = 9 W=18 





Find which one does not belong in each group 



1. a) love b) faith 

2a a) Shadrach b) Adam 

3b a) feet b) heart 

#■ a) Abraham b) Isaac 



c) fear 



d) hope 



c) Meshach d) Abednego 

c) mind d) soul 

c) Jacob d) Paul 



: CANCER 



v^^ f r I'^Tf^ 



An intervie 



/[organ Baker, Author 



ACW: Most of our readers won't recognize the name 
of Sylvia Baker. Tell us who you are and how you 
came in contact with us. 



Sylvia: I grew up in the White Mountains of New 
Hampshire, living mostly in the Ossipee and Free- 
dom region. As ; • > ■ - 
we attended the /^uvcm ^^nnsii; 
Ossipee, NH. P^-^' Ti"- Rt^o..^. 



messages very much! His i 
Going to be a Meeting in the . 
served for the Sunday evenii 
evening we arrived earlv for c 



\ir," which was re- 



Blessed are those who focus 
on solutions and provisions, 
when they have more prob- 
lems than most. Be thankful 
you have the chance to heal. 



Blessed are those who 
mourn; for they shall be 
comforted. Indeed. Be re- 
assured that joy comes in 
the morning. 



Move Over, 

Rosa 

Parks! 

By Ms. Randee Davis 







We all know Rosa Parks as the heroine of 
the Civil Rights Era. On December 1, 
1955, after a long day's work, Rosa got 
on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. She was tired 
of always sitting in the back of the bus, so on this 
particular day Rosa decided to sit right down at the 
front of the bus. What a stir she caused! What a 
revolution! Rosa became known as the woman who 
changed a nation. 

Many of us are old enough to remember those days 
when some folks sat at the back of the bus, drank 
from separate water fountains, used separate facili- 
ties, and attended separate schools. It all seems like 
a dream now, a really preposterous dream! To think 
that in America, the land of the free, we treated each 
other this way. How could this have happened? 

30 



It's funny but recently I've come to understand more 
about how Rosa felt at the back of that bus. Have you 
ever wondered why the WH&FMS or the "Women's 
Pages" are always in the back of the Witness? I've 
been told that the main reason is that some folks 
actually stop reading when they see the WH&FMS 
logo. Now this is very peculiar to me since all of us 
Christian writers have the same purpose — to glorify 
our Lord Jesus Christ! 

When will we be ready, like Rosa, to move to the 
front of the bus? We have all been covered by the 
shed blood of our Lord. Galatians 3:26-28 tells us, 
"For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ 
Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized 
into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither bond 




nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye 
are all one in Christ Jesus. " One day we will even 
overcome gender barriers that keep us at the back of 
the bus. 

There are actually several good things about being 
at the back of the magazine! You ladies always know 
where to find our articles. You can always start at the 
back, it's like having dessert first. Sometimes they 
really do save the best 'til last. And we all know it's 
true that in the end the first shall be last and the last 
shall be first. It's too bad so many people never make 
it to the back. They don't even know what they're 
missing. 



i. 



We might just be a little tempted to say, "Move over, 
Rosa, we're getting a little tired too!" But the real 
truth of the matter is that we're happy and glad to be 
used anywhere the Lord puts us! We're delighted and 
thrilled to be right here at the back of the magazine 
and thankful for the op- 
portunity! I'm just sorry so 
many people won't get back 
here to read what we have to 
say!"!}" 

Ms. Randee Davis is Na- 
tional President of the 
Advent Christian Women s 
Home and Foreign 
Mission Society 




31 



Breast Cancer 
Be-Attitudes! 








Periodicals Postage Paid #007-740 




1 -5-2 




00004343 12/2004 




UNC Chapel Hill Library 




Serials Deot 




CB# 3938 Davis Library 


III 


Chapel Hill NC 27514 


III 


I.,I.II.mI.I.I....II,I„I...III 






m ^ 



We fiave sie^ 

fits StdT. . . ii Si i 



Witness 



Volume 52, Issue 6 

www.adventchristian.org 

1-800-676-0694 



Editor 
Keith Wheaton 

Assistant Editor 
Jan Thomas 

Contributing Editor 
Tom Warner 

Proofreader 
Kathy Wheaton 

Women s Ministry Editor 
Randee Davis 



Advent Christian 
General Conference 



Julia Brock Missions Secretary 

WorldMissions@adventchristian.org 
Nancy Brooks Exec. Director Secretary 

ExecDirect@adventchristian.org 
Pam Buchanan Women's ministries coordinator 

Womensministries@adventchristian.org 
Shirley Efird Bookkeeper 

Trena Efird Missions Secretary 

WorldMissions@adventchristian.org 
Helen Hagler Printer/Mailroom 

Amy Johnson Bookkeeper 

Donna Martin Printer/Mailroom 

Harold Patterson World Missions Director 

WorldMissions@adventchristian.org 
Tina Pressley Venture Bookstore 

Venture@jadventchristian. org 
Mary Ritchie Church Relations Secretary 

MaryRitchie@adventchristian.org 
John Roller Urban/Ethnic & Resource Center 

JRoller@adventchristian. org 
Dawn Russell Venture Bookstore 

yenture@adventchristian. org 
Richard Russell Church Relations Director 

ChurchRelations@adventchristian.org 
Dawn Rutan Information Services 

DRutan@adventchristian.org 
Jim Smith Finance/Services 

Services@adventch ristian. org 
Jan Thomas Assistant Editor 

Jan Thomas@acgc. us 
Ron Thomas Executive Director 

ExecDirect@advenichristian.org 

Keith Wheaton Publications Coordinator 

Keith@acgc.us 



International Missionaries 



Area Directors: 

Scott Dombrosky — Latin 

America/Short-Term Missions 
sdomhrosk}'@comcast. net 
John Gilbert — Team Leader 
john(a),99pliis 1 . org 
Frank Jewett — Europe/Africa 
Jjewett@megalink. net 
John Roller — Urban/Ethnic 
jroller@adventchristian.org 
Clio Thomas — Asia/Pacific 
cliowestva@msn. com 
Honduras 

David Vignali (5/10) 
c/o Teen Missions 
P.O.Box 4094 
San Pedro Sula 
HONDURAS 
tmihondu(a),netsys. hn 
Liberia 

Abraham David 
Advent Christian Church 
PO. Box 4669 
Monrovia, LIBERIA 
advent_christian@yahoo.com 

Malaysia 

Victor and Nesamony 

Devadason, 

Beaulah Margreat Devasa- 

hayam 

Al-Shadai Illam 

No. 24 Jaian Pandan 12 

Taman Dato Honnat 42500 

Teiuk Panglima Garang 

K. Langat, Selangor 

MALAYSIA 

acbcmalaysia@yahoo.com 

James and Mercy Devadas- 
son 

20 Jaian Intan 4 

Taman Intan 

86000 Kluang, Johor 

MALAYSIA 

adventchristian@ hotmail. 

com 

Ruth Devairakkam 

36 Jaian 14/2 
Taman Sri Kluang 
86000 Kluang, Johor 
MALAYSIA 
ruthadvent@vahoo.com 



Philippines 

Jeff and Penny Vann 

(7/14 & 5/12; Elizabeth, 
10/24; Connie, 3/29; 
Naomi, 10/11) 
PO.Bo.x223 
9000 Cagayan de Oro 
Philippines 
Jeffvann@ acgc.us 
pennyvann@acgc. us 

Grant Aldridge (7/27) 

PO.Bo.x223 

9000 Cagayan de Oro 

Philippines 

aldridge@home.philcom.ph 



National Missionaries 

Memphis 

Francis and Lyne Ssebi- 

kindu 

2175 Carrollwood 
Cordova, TN 38018 
fssebikindu@ worldnet. 
att.net 

Mexico 

Juan "Martin" Camacho 

Valdez 

c/o John Gilbert 
PO. Box 9019 
Calexico.CA 9223 1-90 19 

Miguel and Maria Mena 

c/o John Gilbert 
PO. Box 9019 SF 168 
Calexico,CA 9223 1-90 19 

Croatia 
Desire Ahola 

PO. Box 29 
Nova Gradiska 
35400 CROATIA 
ajc_c_euroconference 
@hotmail.com 

Ghana 
Simon Bissah 

A.C.C. 

RO. Box 604 

Nsawam, Eastern Region 

Ghana 

simbissah@yahoo. com 



India 

Earl and Martha Wright 

(4/16 & 10/17) 
PO. Box 3164 
Guindy Chennai 600 032 
wright@md3. vsnl. net. in 

Ernie Schache (1/29) 

1 6 Coventry Way 
Torbay, North Shore City 
Auckland 1311 
New Zealand 
wschache@xtra. co. nz 



Namibia 

Moses Angbongy 

PO. Box 25473 

Soweto 

Windhoek, NAMIBIA 

blessedhope62@hotmail. 

com 

New Zealand 
David Burge 

12 Bettina Place 

Manurewa 

Auckland, NEW ZEALAND 

dburge@sUngshot. co.nz 

South Africa 
Nathan Fernando 

14 Dick Muller Drive 
Norkem Park 1620 
S.AFRICA 2028 
nathankf@excite. org 

China 

All correspondence should 
be channeled through the 
missions office. 



.Advenl ChristUin Wiiness (ISSN #0741-4302) is published bimonthly by the Advent Christian General Conference of 
America. 1 460 1 Albemarle Rd., P.O. Box 23 1 52, Charlotte. NC 28227. Subscription rates in the United States and Canada: 
One year $15.00. Single copy $2.75. Overseas rate, one year $18.00. Periodicals postage paid at Charlotte, NC. and ad- 
ditional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Advent Chrislian Wilnes.f. P.O. Box 23152, Charlotte. 
NC 28227. Printed in Canada. 

As the official publication of the Advent Christian General Conference, the Advent Christian Witness publishes the 
teachings of the Advent Christian Church and promotes the task of disciple-making both in North America and around the 
world. The views expressed in this inagazine are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those of the editor or 
the Advent Christian (ieneral Conference. Member: Evangelical Press Association. Copyright 2004. 



From the Editor 

1 



Contents 




Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his 

steadfast love endures forever. 

(Psalm 136:1 ESV) 

Allow me to testify to the goodness of God in my 
life during 2004. This year I... 

Beat a 75% chance of instant death after tearing my 
carotid artery — God is good! 
Celebrated twenty years of wedded bliss to my per- 
fect soul mate — God is good! 
Watched my exceptional children increase in knowl- 
edge and health — God is good! 
Was given a great SUV, completely free, by some of 
my best friends — God is good! 
Visited family in Maine and New York and had great 
weather — God is good! 

Found a BMW for commuting to work — God is 
good! 

Nearly completed my masters program at UNC 
Charlotte — God is good! 

Moved into a house that exceeds every wish 1 had for 
a home — God is good! 

Saw the liberal elites upset by the national elec- 
tions — God is good! 

Watched the Red Sox win the World Series — God is 
good! 

(Continued on page 23) 



What is Disciplemal^ing? Part 2 4 

Rev. David Ross 

Bacl( to Bethlehem 6 

Dr. Nelson B. Melvin 

Joseph: IVIan in the Shadows 12 

Rev. William Mather 

Highlights of WACA 16 



The Decision 18 

Jan Thomas 



A Word From Our President 24 

Rev. Glenn Rice 



Twisted Scriptures 25 

Rev. Tom Warner 



As Children 26 

Dawn Russell 

Suffer the Children 28 

Randee Davis 



WHAT IS r, 

DISCIPLEMAKING^^ 



BY REV. DAVID ROSS 




The Most Important Things I've 
Learned About Disciplemaking... So Far 




Several months ago one of our pastors, Rev. David W. 
Davis, wrote to ask the following question: 

"We have heard a lot about disciplemaking over the 
past few years, but I would like someone to tell me 
exactly what it means to make disciples. Would you 
please publish a good explanation of what is involved 
in making disciples? " 



To answer this question we asked one of Advent Chris- ^^^' -^'"'^ ^ ^^'^'^ 
tian General Conference's leading proponents of disci- 
plemaking, former executive director Rev. David Ross, 
to share his views and experiences on the subject. The 
following is part one of a three-part series answering 
the question: 

What is disciplemaking? 

It has been eighteen years now since I was first seriously challenged to become intentional in fulfilling 
Christ's Great Commission. At that time someone (a friend) got in my face and asked, "So what are you 
doing to make disciples, and how effective is your strategy?" Of course, my immediate response was 
defensive, as every Christian's (and especially a Christian clergyman's) is likely to be: "Well, everything I 
do contributes toward making disciples ... sort of." 

Hey, I know a lame response when I hear one, especially when it comes from my own lips. So I was hum- 
bled to recognize that if specifically obeying the Great Commission was not my clear focus, then likely it 
could not be described as my true passion. As Robert Raines has written concerning pastoral ministry, "The 
clergyman's abiding frustration is that in doing the many things that are useful, he may be prevented from 
doing the one thing needful" (Robert Raines, New Life in The Church [New York, Harper and Row, 1961], 
17). Making disciples, in Jesus' opinion, is needful. Therefore, I determined to make it my priority. 

Along the way, I've discovered that not all methods of teaching or preaching necessarily resuh in disciple- 
making. The few most essential characteristics I've discovered happen to form the acrostic "PROS." That 
observation may have absolutely no theological significance, but at this stage of my life anything that will 
help me remember the four points I want to mention is a good thing! So here is what I've learned... 



(Continued on page 20) 




Back to 
Betlileliein. 

An imaginary trip to Christ's birthplace with Dr. Luke 
By Dr. Nelson B. Melvin 



1 



n^he most amazing fact is 
the ^ocfoftHe universe, 
the Qocfofthe ages, shouCcC 

visit this earth ancCsome 

wiCConCy wonder. 



in 

Mm 



Dr. Melvin was ordained as an Advent Chris- 
tian minister in 1944, and is a former editor 
of the Advent Christian Witness magazine. He 
is visitation pastor and minister with senior 
adults at Blair Road United Methodist Church 
in Mint Hill, North CaroHna, and also serves 
as Pastoral Care Coordinator for Lowe 
Funeral Home in Charlotte, N.C. 



This is the season of the year when we turn appropriately in our Bibles to the account of the manger birth of Jesus 
of Nazareth as it is recorded in the gospels of Matthew, former tax collector, and of Luke, the physician. The 
pageantry of the nativity scene — including the star, the shepherds and the wise men — warms our heart annually. 

Let us think briefly about some of the people who lived in or near Bethlehem and their reactions to the birth of Jesus. 
In Luke's narrative there are five verses that are frequently omitted when the Scriptures are read. It is not that we do 
not believe them, but rather that they are not essential to the telling of the story of the coming of the Christ Child. 

These words intrigue me. Listen to them: 

"Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely 
believed among us, even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of 
the word; it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the vety first, to write unto 
thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, that thou mightest know the certainty of those things wherein thou hast been 
instructed. There was in the days of Herod, the king ofJudea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course ofAbia: 
and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth " (Luke 1:1-5). 

Knowing that Luke was a careful historian as well as a Greek physician, that he was a companion of St. Paul and had 
not met Jesus in the flesh, I have wondered how he could write to Theophilus that he had "perfect understanding of all 
things from the very first." Is it not possible that he talked with Mary, the mother of Jesus, visited the mountain village 
of Bethlehem and interviewed some of its inhabitants? 

I do not know that this is so, but in imagination I should like to invite you to join me as we talk to some of these 
people — the inn keeper, the shepherds, an unknown villager, Mary and others. We may find in speaking to them about 
that first Christmas that they may speak to us about Christmas in our time. 

The probability of Dr. Luke's careful examination before writing his beautiful narrative of the birth of Jesus suggests 
that those who have questions and doubts be invited to search for truth. God never demands blind faith. In the words 
of Isaiah the prophet, we read his invitation, "Come now, and let us reason together." The Apostle Paul exhorts his 
friends to prove the doctrine, and John, in his first letter, admonishes others to try the Spirits. 



May I invite you to read again the Gospel of Luke and to consider Jesus Christ, the Son of God, in your search for 
truth? 



What person would we possi- 
bly want to visit first other than 
Mary? Perhaps our interview 
with the mother of Jesus would 
begin something like this: 

"Mary, we are wondering what 
experience related to the birth of 
Jesus was most impressive. We 
wish there was time to tell us 
how you felt when you discov- 
ered that you, a virgin, were to 
give birth to the Son of God, 
how you felt on the weaiy and 
uncomfortable trip to Bethle- 
hem, and what you experienced 
when the shepherds came, and 
later, the wise men. There isn't 
time for all that we would like to 
hear. So can you tell us what you 
believe to be the most important 
impression, together with what- 
ever lesson it may have for us?" 

After much thought, I believe 
Mary's answer would be some- 
thing like this: 

"I have thought much about this 

as you may imagine, kept all 

these things and pondered them 

in my heart. To me the most 

amazing fact is that the God 

of the universe and the God of 

the ages should visit this earth, 

that he should come to us in the 

form of a man and that he chose 

me. This is a staggering truth, 

when you think about it; that the 

Sovereign of the universe should 

enter the earth in a stable, and 

that God's only begotten Son should be bom of a poor humble maiden 




"I do not know why God chose me instead of any of the others he might have selected to be his handmaid. I loved 
him, was a virgin and was obedient; but so were many others in those days. While I do not know just why he chose 
me, I believe I do know why he chose someone who was humble and poor, and who had nothing to give God but 
herself 



"I am convinced that God was saying to all generations through the manger birth, that he willed to come to every man, 
no matter what condition he might find himself in. This is the real story of Christmas; and this is the tremendous truth 
of the incarnation, that no matter where a man is, no matter what he has done, and regardless of his condition, God 
comes to him right where he is. 

"It is at this point that Christianity is unique. All other religions are ladders by which men seek to rise toward a righ- 
teous God. Christianity, through the Christmas story, tells us of a Holy God who comes down to sinful men to trans- 
form their lives and to make them new creatures — to make them His own sons and daughters." 



8 



My Lord has garments so wondrous fine, And myrrh their texture fills; 
Its fragrance reached to this heart of mine, With joy my being thrills. 

His life had also its sorrows sore. For aloes had a part; 
And when I think of the Cross he bore. My eyes with tear drops start. 

His garments too were in cassia dipped. With healing in a touch; 
Each time my feet in some sin have slipped. He took me from its clutch. 

In garments glorious he will come. To open wide the door; 
And I shall enter my heavenly home To dwell forevermore. 

Out of the ivory palaces Into a world of woe. 
Only his great eternal love Made my Savior go. 



We have just talked with Mary, as Luke must have done to have written so tenderly about her mother role. Ideally 
we would next speak with Joseph, Mary's husband. Yet tradition indicates that Joseph died before it could have been 
possible for Luke to converse with him. You will recall that Joseph, Mary and Jesus went to Jerusalem when the lat- 
ter was twelve years of age; yet Joseph is not mentioned thereafter, not even when the family, embarrassed by Jesus' 
teaching and believing Him mentally ill, sought unsuccessfully to take Him home. Nor is Joseph present at the Cru- 
cifixion. Combine his absence there with the fact that Jesus commits His mother to John's care, and we may be quite 
certain that Luke could not have gathered his information from Joseph. 



The next best source, of course, would be to return to Mary 
band. 



this time not to ask about herself, but about her hus- 



We might begin our interview this way: "Mary, what is the most impressive recollection you have regarding Joseph 
and the birth of Jesus, and what lesson do you find here for us?" 

Mary might answer in this fashion, "Without question the finest thing I remember about my beloved husband, Joseph, 
is not his tender consideration en route to Bethlehem, nor his courage as he protected us from the wrath of Herod, but 
his righteousness when he learned about my pregnancy. Perhaps one of the finest things one could say about Joseph, 
or about any man, is that he was a man bent on doing right. 

"As you may imagine, it was a terrible shock for him to discover that the girl to whom he was engaged was to have 
a baby. Put yourself in his place. What would you think? What else could you possibly think? How would you feel? 
What would you do? It is only as you try to put yourself in his shoes that you can begin to appreciate his greatness and 
goodness. 

"Even before an angel made known to him that the child I carried was of the Lord, rather than to have me exposed, 
humiliated and punished, he proposed to separate from me quietly, with a simple vote of dismissal. Later when an 
angel appeared to him in a dream, even though he could not understand, he acted on faith, took me to be his wife and 
did the right thing." 

Mary continues, "You ask what lesson there is here in the life of my husband. It is this: Joseph was a man who did the 
right thing. It is not always easy to do right; in fact, it is sometimes easier and more natural to do wrong. On occasion 
it can be most difficult to do right. It was for Joseph. But the man or woman who will do the right thing in the less 
important decisions of every day living will rise to the occasion in the hour of crisis. There is something magnificent 
about a man bent on doing right. My husband was such a man." 

Will you join me again in imagining that we have walked the five miles from Jerusalem to Bethlehem in the days of 
St. Luke to see if we can find some eyewitnesses of the birth of Jesus? Possibly forty years have passed. Will there be 
anyone remaining who will remember? As we enter the little mountain village, we are drawn to the single inn; for it is 
here where Joseph and Mary sought lodging. We are greeted by a bearded old man, obviously the proprietor, and old 
enough to have managed the inn during the population enrollment authorized by Caesar. 



If we have in our minds a hotel like the Conrad Hilton, the Ritz Carleton or even the typical frontier hotel in a western 
movie, we are rudely corrected. The khan is more a cave than a building. The stable is not separated from the hotel as 
our house and bams are in this country. The animals are kept in the center on a lower level than their owners; and on 
the four sides of this animal pit are raised alcove-like platforms, or three sided rooms, all open toward the animal area. 
As we reconstruct the birth of Jesus, we find that he was not bom in some unnoticed, out-of-the-way, forgotten bam, 
but in the midst of people, some wealthy, some tired, some wildly gay. 

We turn to the innkeeper and ask if he remembers a baby being bom here during the census? He does, for not much 
has happened in this quiet sheep town since. He begins to reminisce and is apologetic: "I remember the man and his 
wife arrived late at night. He was older, and she was young. One could tell by their clothes they were poor. He asked 
for a room, but things were very crowded; and there were people who were able to pay plenty. Twice, while we talked, 
she cried out with pain. The baby was not far away, and I felt sorry for them; so I told them they could make a place in 
the comer with the animals. I did the best I could under the circumstances." 



You know, friends, I have wondered if one could ask the old innkeeper now, not in the time of Luke, how he felt about 
having no room in the inn for the Son of God, what he would say or how he would react. At first I thought that he 
might be repentant and remorseful, but then I have wondered if he might not lash back with words like these: 

"You look down your noses at me, you hypocrites. Isn't it a case of the pot calling the kettle black? Sure, I justified 
myself, just as you do. I remember my arguments with my conscience. 'Business is business,' I said. How did I know 
who he was? What about the other people? The guests? None of them offered to trade places with him, did they? I'm 
no worse than the rest of them. My inn was full, but I gave him all I had left. How about you? Do you give him first 
place? Doesn't he get crowded out of your life too? Doesn't he sometimes get the leftovers, even at Christmas time?" 

1 don't know how you feel as we walk away from the inn, but a refrain runs through my mind. 



Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown When Thou earnest to earth for me; 
But in Bethlehem 'v home was there found no room For Thy holy nativity. 

Heaven 's arches rang when the angels sang, Proclaiming Thy royal degree; 
But in lowly birth didst Thou come to earth. And in quiet humility. 

When the heavens shall ring, and the angels sing, At Thy coming to victory. 
Let Thy voice call me home saying, ''Yet there is room. There is room at My side for thee. 

O come to my heart. Lord Jesus! There is room in my heart for Thee. 
My heart shall rejoice. Lord Jesus! When Thou comest and callestfor me. 



I suppose one might expect to interview the shepherds or the wisemen, if you could locate them, or even a member of 
Herod's Court. While all of these would tell fascinating stories, I have chosen to visit an unknown, unnamed villager 
in Bethlehem, not because of the information he can contribute, but because of the lesson he can bring to each of us. 
In Luke 2:8-20 we read. 



"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the gloiy of the Lord shone round about them: and they were 
sore afraid. And the angel said unto them. Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be 
to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a 
sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger And suddenly there was with 
the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, 
good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said 
one to another. Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath 
made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger And 
when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they 
that heard it wondered at those things, which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and 
pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorif'ing and praising God for all the things that they had 
heard and seen, as it was told unto them. " 

10 




Imagine for a moment 
that we approach a simple 
home in Bethlehem. We 
inform the man of the 
house that we are seeking 
information about the birth 
of Jesus. "Can you tell us 
anything about it?" we ask. 
He answers, "Well, I lived 
here then; but I can't tell 
you much about it. There 
was considerable conversa- 
tion over to the inn. Some 
shepherds even stopped up 
here and told about seeing 
a great light and hearing 
angels sing out there on 
the country-side. They said 
that the angels told them 
that they would find a baby 
bom in a manger, and that 
this would be the Mes- 
siah." 

"What then?" we urge. 
"Nothing," he answers. 
"They went back to their 
sheep, singing and praising 
the Lord." 

"What did you do?" we ask 
eagerly. "Well, I wondered 
about those things they 
told me." 

Oh, that's the tragedy of it 
all. "And they that heard it, 
wondered at those things 
which were told them by 
the shepherds." To have 
been so close to greatness, 
and to have only won- 
dered. A people who sat in 
darkness did not seek the 
light. They were confront- 
ed with the possibility that God was revealing himself around the comer, and they did not trouble themselves. To have 
the God of the universe invest himself in human form and to have any human being just yawn and wonder — that's the 
sin of it all. 



There are those who this Christmas will find Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, while others wonder if it's possible. 
Some will find a spiritual reality that will change their whole way of life, and others will wonder if it is real. Some 
will sit in churches and be confronted with the power of God, and He will indwell them; and others in some pew will 
walk away unaware of anything going on. Christmas will come and go in 2004, and some will only wonder, "fr 



11 



bv the Rev. William Mather 



Man in the 



^ I I ^. ^^i >^. J ^.. # # S ^.1 



Again we recall the drama of the Christmas story. In song, sermon, and pageantry, we will 
journey to Bethlehem's manger. We will hear the angels singing glad tidings of Christ's birth. 
Shepherds, wise men, the mysterious star in the East, and other marvels will again play their 
important part in our observance of Christmas. It is a thrilling story that we never tire of hearing. 

But how easy it is for us to be so taken with the moving events of those days that we miss a message. 
Sometimes meaningful events are overshadowed by the dramatic. Perhaps that is why Joseph, foster 
father of Jesus, often stands in the shadows as more colorful characters occupy front stage. Joseph was 
a carpenter who seemingly just happened to be the husband of Mary. He is with Mary in Bethlehem, 
but he plays a minor role. Yet if we dig out the facts, there is significance in the person of this humble 
man who is overshadowed not only by Jesus, and rightly so, but by Mary and the other characters in 
the Christmas record. He does not play a minor, but a major role in the life of Jesus. Putting together 
the few Biblical facts that we have, we discover that in Joseph we have one of the finest examples of 
what it means to be a man of God. How often we hear of the virtues of Mary. But what about Joseph? 

In Joseph we have a man whose life is characterized by a love for God, love expressed in his obedience 
to God's Word. When the angel revealed that Mary, his intended bride, would give birth to the Son 
of God, he accepted by faith the message, though it involved a tremendous miracle. He believed what 
many would never believe. He would be scorned by some and misunderstood, even condemned by oth- 
ers. But Joseph was obedient to God's will; he accepted any humiliation it might bring upon him. 

In two brief sentences Luke gives us insight into the home life of Jesus and the character of Joseph. He 
writes, "And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into 
Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wis- 
dom: and the grace of God was upon him" (Luke 2:39-40). The implication is that the grace of God 
rested upon Jesus, at least in part, because His parents, Joseph and Mary, ordered their lives in accor- 
dance with the teachings of God's law. As the head of this Jewish household, Joseph was the spiritual 
leader. Apparently he did not fail in his responsibility to God in the home. 



It is clear that Joseph and Mary made frequent trips to Jerusalem to observe the Holy Days as prescribed by 
the law of God. In those days when travel was difficult, it was a long journey from Nazareth to Jerusalem. It 
is not strange that by the time Jesus was twelve, he had come to love God's law. 

Now you may argue that Jesus was an exceptional child, for he was not only the Son of Mary and the fos- 
ter Son of Joseph, but he was the very Son of God, and the grace of God rested upon him. He was an ideal 
child, and his home life had little to do with what he became. But we are still faced with certain facts. First 
of all, as we have said, God's grace rested upon him in part because he had parents who loved God and kept 
his law. Secondly, Jesus was not only the Son of God, but he was also the Son of Man. He lived a normal 
human life. His social, men- 
tal, emotional, and physical 
developments were normal. 
He had, as a child, the same 
family needs that you and I 
have. It is true that he lived 
even through childhood with- 
out sin. It is a mystery, but 
it is also true that his family 
contributed much to the shap- 
ing of his character. 



He could have 
made an example 
of her, and no one 
would have blamed 
him. 



Joseph's life was also char- 
acterized by a love for his 
family, shaped by the Word 
of God. I think that we have 
reason to believe that Jesus 
was reared in an atmosphere 
of human love and affection. 
You recall the circumstances 

of Jesus' birth. When Joseph discovered that Mary was to give birth to a child, before he knew that the child 
was miraculously conceived of the Holy Ghost, thinking that Mary had been unfaithful to him, he debated 
with himself concerning what he would do. Now the law allowed him to publicly break his engagement with 
Mary. He could have made an example of her, and no one would have blamed him. Many a man, perhaps the 
majority of men, would have reacted in that way, having become vindictive and hateful. But Matthew tells 
us that Joseph was a just man, unwilling to be a party to such action. While planning to break the engage- 
ment, he was searching for a way to do it as privately as possible, in order to save Mary misery and embar- 
rassment. Such an attitude was exceptional, especially among religious men of those days. 

Joseph had the capacity to be understanding and loving, even toward a person who had hurt him deeply. He 
loved the law of God, but he was not so slavishly bound by the letter of the law that he could not grasp its 
spirit. 

The Pharisees would have heartlessly made an example of an unfaithful woman, but not Joseph. Is it any 
wonder that early in life Jesus saw through the hypocrisy of the Pharisees? That he could understand the 
meaning of love? "Oh," you say, "He was the Son of God. He didn't need anyone to teach him." But the fact 
of the matter is that he no doubt learned many lessons and spiritual insights from Joseph. We make much of 



14 



Mary and little of Joseph. He often fades into the background, but without question he was a spiritual giant. 

Joseph was not only devoted to his wife Mary, but to his children also. We are all familiar with how Joseph 
fled to Egypt to save the life of Jesus. Jesus, of course, was not Joseph's own flesh and blood; yet to protect 
him, Joseph traveled with his family to this foreign country to stay until the wicked Herod was dead. Leav- 
ing his homeland with the security it offered, for no other reason than the safety of his foster son, was not an 
easy thing to do. Joseph was a poor man. We can only surmise the problems the journey created for him, but 
he willingly made all the sacrifices that were necessary to provide for his family. We need more fathers like 
Joseph today! 

As we commemorate Christmas this year, let us not forget Joseph, although he must ever be overshadowed 
by his foster son, Jesus. He was an average man like you and me, but I am sure that in the eyes of God he is 
numbered among the world's greatest men. May we be challenged by this devoted father, who loved God and 
patterned his life after God's law.^ 



Rev. William Mather is associate pastor of the North Scituate Advent Christian Church in Rhode Island. 



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Highlights of WACA 



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the Western 



Advent Christian Association held its triennial convention in San 



European cities, inciuaing Karis 



Keynote speaker was Dr. Linus Morns, the international director, mian 
Barcelona, Stockholm and Budapest. The convention Jwdedwit 
■ ■ '^-irnoon sendoff at the beach for a group of AC:ilstrav( 






. Late 1960S - UCLA 
. Basketball ministry 




3tes from 



Associates International, a ministry that establishes high-impact churches in major 
Sunday morning worship service and fellowship meal hosted by the North Park 



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TkeD 



• • 



ecision: 



How one pastoral couple traaea a tnrivin^ ministry and secure lifestyL 
ror an unknown adventure in lollo^vin^ tne Lord. 



By Jan Thomas 



/ 



We had just added a family room to our home and remodeled all but one room of the rest of the house by June 2003. 
After thirty-one years of living and working at the Advent Christian Village, we were anticipating retiring in a few 
years and decided we needed to fix up the house while we were physically and financially able to do so. We were very 
comfortable in our home and environment, and had no thoughts of doing anything different at this stage of our lives. 

Our home was located just 1 1/2 miles from the Village on 4 1/2 acres of property. Ron and 1 love the country life, the community 
is unsurpassed, and this was the perfect place to have raised our three children. We were very happy; the church was doing well; 1 
enjoyed my job; life was good! 

Then our comfortable, contented life changed. In November 2003 Ron was asked to consider the position of executive director of 
the Advent Christian denomination. Our first reaction was to say, "No." However, as with past opportunities to serve elsewhere. 
we prayed about it. 

Previously, when other calls came our way, we received pretty clear direction from God within a short period of time. Sometimes 
he presented areas to serve that were just what we wanted, such as pastoring the Ashland, Maine, Advent Christian Church, which 
was a wonderful start for a new pastor and wife, or in serving children at Camp Suwannee and Advent Christian Village in our 
younger years of ministry. At other times, without any question, doors were closed. This time we didn't know what we should do. 
We vacillated each day as we sought wisdom and clarity about God's leading and for three months we wrestled with the decision; 

We felt we needed to give our answer 
to the Search Committee at the Ex- 
ecutive Council meetings in February, 
and not keep them in "limbo" any 
longer. 

One day in January, as we were sit- 
ting on the porch swing on our new 
patio, we contemplated the possibility 
of moving. Looking out across our 
backyard to the woods; glancing over 
to the garden that has been quite a 
challenge to get something to grow in, 
but finally was vciy productive; look- 
ing out to the pasture and remember- 
ing the night our pony had her baby 
(which was a surprise to us); all the 
hours of fun riding horses; reminisc- 
ing about the experiences in raising 
our children in this beautiful setting; 
plans for a tree fort in the woods for 
our grandchildren (along with other 

The Thomas 'home hi Dowling Park, Fla. 




i 



ideas to make it a place they would look for- 
ward to visiting); little traffic we had to con- 
tend with; and all the experiences that have 
been shared with close friends for many years, 
we asked ourselves, "Can we really leave all 
of this — our children's 'home?'" Even though 
they are grown, this place was still "home" to 
them. However, the hardest thing about a pos- 
sible move from Dowling Park would be to 
leave Ron's mother, who was in the Good Sa- 
maritan Center Nursing Home at the Village. 
What would her reaction be? Would it have a 
detrimental affect on her health? Even with so 
many wonderful memories, plus thoughts that 
were worrisome, we knew in our hearts that 
we could leave. 

Ron talked with a few close friends and fam- 
ily member during those few months, ask- 
ing for their input and prayers through this 
process. When the deadline arrived, we still 



9^!^fvrTnilli 




The Thomas 'home in Charlotte. N.C. 



didn't know what to do. 1 was prepared for either staying or going and didn't know until after the meeting that morning what the 
outcome would be. From the counsel of some and the consensus of the members of the Executive Council, the decision to accept 
the position was made that day. After a few deep breaths, the realization that we were indeed going to move sunk in. There was a 
feeling of relief to have finally made a decision, but now that we had committed ourselves, we began to think about the daunting 
tasks of telling everyone, saying "good bye," and packing. 

God paved the way for Ron's mother as we told her about our decision. She seemed to take the news very well and was glad we 
were only going as far as Charlotte — not out of the country! 

I can't explain how, but God prepared not only us and our family, but also the Village community. Many Village folks affirmed 
our decision, and he also had been working in the lives of others, providing very capable people to take over our responsibilities 
there. We were so thankful that God gave us all of the wonderful experiences we had in Dowling Park, but we also knew that he 
would be with us in a new place as well. There is great comfort and peace that comes in relying on him. "'And the peace of God, 
which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in 
Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:7). 

There is also much apprehension in beginning a new life in a different place, but 
it is accompanied with an element of excitement to see what God is going to do. 
I wondered what kind of job 1 would find. Having worked the same job for over 
seventeen years, I didn't know what lay ahead, and definitely felt 1 was about to 
leave my "comfort zone." Did I have the skills necessary to compete in a large 
city? 1 had never had to convince an employer that his/her business would be 
much better if I were hired! Where would we live? What would a new church be 
like, and how could we serve? What kind of neighbors would we have? 

With the help of family and friends the packing was completed. Through many 
tears the "good byes" were said, and we arrived in Charlotte the end of May 
2004. 



God prepared everything for us. Finding a home was an easy adventure, and it 
is very close to AC headquarters; a job was offered to me, which I am enjoying 
very much; our new church family members are friendly, and we are begin- 
ning to find ways we can make a contribution to the life of the church; he even 
moved all of our children to Charlotte ahead of us! As we are settling in and 
making new friends, we praise the Lord for his abundant love, provision and 
involvement in every detail of life. 'ij' 




Jan Thomas and her husband, Ron 



19 



(Ross cont.) 




radical 



Effective disciplemaking involves practical instruction. That is, instruction put into 
practice, first by the teacher, then by the student. In his Great Commission, Jesus did 
not say "teaching them everything I have commanded you," but "teaching them to obey 
everything I have commanded you" (Matt. 28:20). We've not really learned it until we've 
lived it. That little phrase "to obey," or "to observe," makes all the difference. We live in 
a lazy world of "Do as I say, not as I do." But, of course, example is the only ef- 
fective teacher. That is why you can't remember many quotes from your childhood 
Sunday school teachers, but you can sure remember what kind of persons they were. 

I remember one time when I was younger and less discrete, that I was apprehended for speeding, 
with a citation that read, "Failure to observe posted speed." So vehement was the urge to protest to 
the police officer that I had seen and duly noted every posted speed limit sign for the past several 
miles. However, he would not have been impressed with that level of "observation." Until it affected 
my behavior, it did not constitute obedience. What you know about God's Word will never change 

anyone else's life. But what you do about God's Word will. And 
that leads us to a second truth ... 




elational 



Effective disciplemaking involves relational instruction. Even if 
you've never spent much time studying what Jesus actually did 
with those twelve men that he chose, and who came to be called 
his disciples, you have probably noticed at least one thing: He 
spent a lot of time with them. He lived with them, laughed with 
them, traveled with them, and ministered with them. In 
fact, it seems that he shared himself with them in just 



20 



about every aspect of his life and ministry, except perhaps his "quiet time" (frequent personal retreats 
for prayer). But do you know what? The one thing which he went off and did alone was the one thing 
they were eventually most eager to learn about! So one day when he had just completed his personal 
prayer time, they asked him, "Lord, teach us to pray" (Luke 11:1). They did not want to miss out on 
anything that might make them more like the man they were striving to emulate! 

Jesus spent most of his time with the few he was intentionally training to have maximum impact. 
And if you know anything about ministry, you realize that such a commitment requires enormous 
discipline. I would summarize this vital principle as follows: Real learning that resuhs in real living 
is a product of real relationships. Yes, Jesus was vulnerable to them. Yes, Jesus was transparent with 
them. But of crucial importance, Jesus was available to them. Now that is a ministry that will impact 
lives! A third truth is ... 




ngoing 



Effective disciplemaking involves ongoing instruction. 
By this I mean from generation to generation. Or as Paul 
told young Timothy, "The things you have heard me say in the 
presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also 
be qualified to teach others" (2 Tim. 2:2). Four generations of disciples 
are identified within this one verse. If Christians could grasp this one truth, it 
would revolutionize the church's ministry: Everything we learn is not merely for our own edifica- 
tion; it is effectively, strategically passed on to others ("entrusted"). How could this ever happen? 

Several years ago I was taking a graduate course at the University of Maine called "Emerging Pat- 
terns of Leadership." The instructor's teaching style was unique. Every week at class he had the 
students teach! There were about two dozen of us in the class, and every week he would begin by 
drawing three of our names from a stack of cards. The first one drawn would teach the lesson, the 
second would afterward critique the "teacher" on the session's performance, and finally the third 
would critique the critic. Our entire grade for the course depended upon how we performed when 
chosen in those random drawings. I never prepared for a course so intensely in my life! Every unit 
we read I would have to process with this constant question in mind: "If called upon, how can 1 most 
effectively communicate this material to others?" Can you imagine if you were to listen to every 
sermon, Sunday school lesson, or Bible study with that question foremost on your mind? Man, you 



21 



might even be taking notes! The fact is, if you are going to be a disciple who effectively makes disciples, 
then that kind of intentionality will become a way of life with you. 

This brings us to the fourth truth, because maintaining that level of intensity and intentionality with everyone 
you might be able to influence seems almost impossible! Well, it is. So remember this... 




elective 



Effective disciplemaking involves selective instruction. Jesus spe- 
cifically called twelve to pour his life into with this kind of inten- 
sity. And he is God! How in the world can we expect to personally 
disciple a whole church?! The obvious answer: we can't. Don't get 
me wrong. We have a responsibility to witness to everyone. A pastor 
must find a way to effectively be a shepherd to the entire flock (hope- 
fully assisted by several under-shepherds). But you will only be able to 
effectively disciple a few. It will become their joy to disciple others, who 
will disciple others, until not only the whole church, but the whole world is 
discipled! This is Jesus' plan, and it is also his command (Matt. 29:19). 



Look again at Paul's words to Timothy (in 2 Tim. 2:2), and you will notice that he admonished him to en- 
trust the vital teaching "to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach 
others." Timothy was selective with this trust, intentionally and with intensity 
making disciples of a few so that the gospel message could be multiplied in 
its impact! 

Afraid to be accused of playing favorites? Perhaps we should be more con- 
cerned about disobeying Christ, who chose twelve (John 15:16), then did 
specific leadership training with an inner circle of three or four (Mark 9:2, 
et al.), and even seemed to have a favorite student whom he especially loved 
(John 19:25-27). May God give us the courage to risk criticism, if need be, 
to intentionally select and disciple a few, who will then be equipped to reach 
others. 



Effective disciplemaking involves a specific, intentional instruction that is 
practical, relational, ongoing, and selective. Not much to have learned in 
eighteen years, you might say. But you know, it just could change the world, a 
few people at a time. Best of all, it's something that even 1 can do!'fr 




Rev. David Ross is pastor of 
Fellowship Advent Christian 
Church, Tavlorsville, N.C. 



22 



(Editorial continued) 

God is good. But I have to admit that Hst makes me uncomfortable. What about people whose year was very 
different from mine? What about the 75% that died from a torn carotid artery? Was God good to them? 
What about the many victims of divorce? Would they agree with my testimony of God's goodness? What 
can we say to Cardinals fans? Does their team's defeat in every Series game mean that God isn't good? 

Even my own experiences, when dissected, might give cause for doubt. If God is good, why did he let me 
spend six months wallowing in near-hypochondria over my unseen, life-threatening condition? And how 
come the free SUV lost a tire and brakes the first time 1 took it on a trip? And sure, I've also got a BMW; 
but it's 17 years old and I've already had to replace many of its parts. If God wanted to impress me with his 
goodness, shouldn't I have a new BMW? Or, at least one with less than 250,000 miles on it? 

We paint ourselves onto the edge of a theological cliff when we only measure God's goodness by temporal 
blessings. God is good... regardless of our present circumstances. Church testimony times often consist of 
stories about the Lord's temporal blessings, as if they prove his eternal goodness. But what about the per- 
son in the next pew, whose present experience doesn't include such proof? If my children are a blessing and 
that's a sign of God's goodness, what about the infertile couple two rows back? Or, the mom sitting next to 
them whose teenager is on drugs? My "proof of God's goodness may fan their suspicions that God is cruel 
or capricious. 

We need to distinguish between God's temporal blessings and his goodness. Adam and Eve were led astray 
at this very point. Living in the perfect environment of the Garden of Eden with all their needs fully satis- 
fied, they eventually began to doubt God's goodness. Satan planted a seed of suspicion by pointing to the one 
thing God withheld, implying, 'if God were really good, would he keep anything from you? If he were re- 
ally good, wouldn't he give you the same knowledge he enjoys? He is not good — he's laughing behind your 
backs, keeping you ignorant and obedient, like some kind of subservient, hairless Golden Retrievers." 

In The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis illustrates the power of believing in God's goodness even when there 
is little visible evidence of it. Lewis imagines a dialogue between two demons, which reveals how devastat- 
ing this truth must be for them: 

"Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our 
Enemy's will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks 
why he has been forsaken, and still obeys." 

Belief in God's goodness is the larger half of any true faith: "And without faith it is impossible to please 
God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists [unrepentant atheists won't come] and 
that he rewards those who earnestly seek him [we won't seek God if we're convinced he is cruel, stingy, or 
indifferent]" (Heb. 11:6). 

During the holidays you'll likely be inundated with messages of God's goodness wrapped in material bless- 
ings. Remember that the ultimate evidence of his goodness was wrapped in swaddling cloths and laid in a 
manger. Whether you're heahhy or sick, rich or poor, feeling blessed or not, God has blessed you eternally in 
Jesus. Whether or not the Christmas tree is surrounded by a loving family and nice gifts, God will always be 
good, and that alone is cause to celebrate. "u" 



23 




Advent Christian 

General Conference 

Interim President 

Rev. Glenn Rice 



24 



A WORD FROM 
OUR PRESIDENT 



It is said that a dog is man's best friend. Through the years I lived on 
my childhood memories to validate that statement, as our family had 
a dog. But for more years than I care to admit, the closest my sons 
came to owning a dog was to set eyes on the ones owned by family or 
friends. It seemed to them that we were the only ones without a dog — 
until a year ago, that is. After my older sons were away at college, we 
gave in! Much to the delight of our youngest son, we became the owners 
of a puppy. 

Many years ago in Edinburgh, Scotland, a man named John Gray found 
a stray terrier wandering around the streets. Gray took the dog in and 
named him "Bobby." The two became inseparable until John died in 
1858. From the day of his burial forward, Bobby could be found stand- 
ing guard over John Gray's grave. For fourteen long years, until his 
own death, Bobby remained faithful beside his master's grave. Through 
drenching rains, howling winds, hailstorms and heavy snow, Bobby 
never left his post. A more faithful friend you could not find! 

Faithfulness isn't reserved for dogs. As servants of the Master, you and 
I are called to be faithful. We are not called to be successful, or to gain 
notoriety. We are simply called to live a life of faithfulness. While this 
is a challenge for the average person, the great mystery of God's grace 
is that even when we are //^faithful to God, he is still faithful to us. Paul 
reminds Timothy, 'Tf we are faithless, he remains faithful — for he can- 
not deny himself (2Timothy 2:13). The very nature of God is that he is 
faithful. And he never changes! 

To consider God's faithfulness is to see his great love. Love and faith- 
fulness are inextricably intertwined. God loves us more than we can 
fathom, and his faithfulness toward us is greater than we will ever 
know. As our love for him overflows in faithful living, our lives will re- 
flect a similar dedication so evident in the life of a terrier named Bobby. 
His memory is not lost because a fitting monument was built in his 
honor in that same cemetery. Likewise, a fitting honor for every disciple 
of Jesus is to one day hear the words of our Lord, "Well done, thou good 
and faithful servant" (Matthew 25:21). 

Our "puppy" has now matured into a full grown, ninety-five pound 
cherished member of the family. She is much more than a dog. A faith- 
ful friend and companion, she lies at our feet, barks when danger is 
looming, and showers us with affection. She has so endeared herself to 
us we can't begin to imagine life without her. And why should we, when 
she serves as a powerful reminder of the call to faithfulness! 'ij' 



cnptujnes 




s 



ome "prophecy experts" use Matthew 24:36-42 to argue that certain moral problems we see today are a definite 
sign that Christ's return must be very near. In that passage our Lord Jesus spoke of his coming, and he said. 



"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the 
days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and 
drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what 
would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man... 
Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come." 

The "experts" think Jesus was providing a list of particular sins that characterized Noah's time - gluttony, drunken- 
ness, and an epidemic of divorce and remarriage, and that he was saying the very same sins will be prevalent just 
before the Second Coming. Statistics about alcoholism and divorce in our nation may also be thrown in to bolster their 
point. They finally conclude that we are on the verge of Christ's return, since modern people are supposedly guilty of 
the same sins committed by people just before the Flood. 

Such an interpretation makes for an exciting sermon, but it misses the real point Jesus was making. Notice that the 
comparison he made ("As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man") is prefaced and 
followed by statements that no one knows the day of his return. In that sense it will be much like what happened at 
the time of the Flood. It will take most people entirely by surprise. 

Unbelievers in Noah's time didn't expect a world-altering Divine judgment. They were going about their normal rou- 
tine - eating and drinking (having meals), getting married, and giving their children in marriage - without a thought 
of what God might do. When the Flood came, they were caught completely off guard. In a similar way, just before 
Christ's return, most people will be preoccupied with their daily activities; they'll be totally unprepared for his glori- 
ous appearing. 

So, our Lord was not describing the evil conditions of the pre-Flood world, which will supposedly be duplicated in the 
end time. Jesus was warning people not to become so absorbed with the normal, legitimate activities of everyday life 
that they fail to prepare for his coming. 

Don't let daily life dull your spiritual sensitivity. Keep watch, i.e., be spiritually alert. Though we don't know when, 
we do know our King will come again. That should influence how we live every day.'fr 



Rev. Tom Warner is currently a chaplain with Ministry to the Aged, serving retirement homes and 
care centers in Boise, Idaho. 



things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable 
twist to their own destruction" (2 Peter 3:1^ NKIY . 




THE CLUES AND f ILL IN THE CORRESPONDING LETTERS 
BELOW/. THB FIRST ONE IS DONE FOR YOU. 











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Angels 

Carols 

Cookies 

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Holly 

Hope 

Joy 

Lights 

Manger 

Mistletoe 

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Peace 

Tree 



"...Except ye become Pu^ fff ifc Cf)[fr»lT^fi. ye shall not 
enter into the kingdom of heaven." 



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Find the two matching 
Christmas trees 






1 Glory to God in the ghseiht , and on etahr 
peace to emn on whom his favor rests. Luke 2:14 

2. When ethy saw the arts, they were 
joodevyre . Matthew 2:10 

3 My usol glorifies the Ldro and my spirit 
rejoices in God my ioSarv . Luke 1:46,47 

4 She will give hbrit to a ons, and you are 
to give him the nema Jesus... Matthew 1:21 

Q. But yMra treasured up all these htgsin 
and pondered them in her rheta. Luke 2:19 



1^ 



By Randee Davis 




'am always amazed how God puts us right where 



I he wants us to be when he wants us to be there. I 
did not have time in my busy schedule to "job- 
shadow" my co-worker, but here I was sitting in 
Family Court listening to her cases. I have always 
worked on the other side of the building with aged 
and disabled adults and have had very little expe- 
rience with Child Welfare. God knew about this 
article I had been working on about the fractured 
family in America and the breakdown of our society. 
Now here I was watching, up close and personal, 
fractured families, shattered lives and the very 
breakdown of our society. It was a heart-breaking 
experience. 

Several years ago I remember having a conversation 
with Barbara Deverick, who was a wonderful friend 
and mentor of mine. We were discussing children 
and the problems they were facing at that time. She 
said, "Children are confused and angry because they 
can't cope with or understand what is happening in 
their families. The breakdown of our society will 
be brought about by the breakdown of the family." 
Barbara was a very wise woman and I'm sorry to say 
that Barbara was absolutely right. Just look at how 
confused and angry our children are today. 

What is happening to the American family today? 
Increasing waves of declining morality arc battering 
our nation's families. The ever-increasing divorce 



rate subjects our children to physically and emotion- 
ally absent parents. Millions of children are involved 
in divorce cases every year, and more and more 
children have one or both parents missing. 

Most of our very young children today are being 
raised in day-care facilities as young mothers find it 
necessary to work outside the home. This phenom- 
enon has increased marital stress and contributed to 
the high rate of divorce. Society seems to convey the 
idea that women are failures if they do not pursue a 
career. Women who aspire to be stay-at-home wives 
and mothers are looked upon as second-class citi- 
zens. 

The obtrusion of television into the home has af- 
fected the American family in ways we have not yet 
begun to fathom. In my day it was "Ozzie & Har- 
riett" and the 'Andy Griffith Show." Today innocent 
children, on any given day, can be exposed to all 
types of graphic violence, murders, assaults, rapes, 
all kinds of crime, pornography, nudity, sexuality, 
alternate life styles, promiscuity, horrible language, 
drug and alcohol use and so on. These are all things 
that come right into our warm Christian homes at 
our invitation when we turn on our TV sets. 

The horrors we can invite in with the internet by far 
surpass those of the TV! Pornography abounds on 
the internet. Children are lured into "chat rooms" 



28 



THE CHILDREN 



"Satan, like the pied piper, 
is luring our children away 
right before our eyes." 




msmm^' 




where they are exposed to every kind of predator 
imaginable. Your child can be subjected to the vilest 
of child molesters while simply surfing the net right 
there in their own bedrooms. Children have literally 
been lured out of their homes, abducted, raped and 
murdered by pedophiles they met on the internet. 

Everyday we see more and more the influence these 
things are having on our children: 

Children carrying guns to school. 

Children killing other children. 

Children addicted to drugs and alcohol. 

Suicides among teenagers and even younger 
children. 

Children having abortions. 

Children having children. 



Satan, like the pied piper, is luring our children away 
right before our eyes. 

Oh, how my heart breaks for our children, for we 
have stood by and allowed them to be robbed of their 
innocent childhood days. 1 praise God for my child- 
hood. 1 grew up in the 50s in rural North Carolina. 
My mother was a stay-at-home mom to my four 
siblings and me. I never knew anything but uncondi- 
tional love from my parents. I was never exposed to 
violence or any of the things our children see ev- 
eryday on TV. I did not even know that child abuse 
existed until I was an adult. I was always encour- 
aged to do my best and taught by example to love 
the Lord. It should be the right of every child to have 
such a childhood. 

As Christians we must take a stand for our children 
and do as our Lord has commanded us. We must 
follow his example concerning children as found in 
Mark 10: 13-16; 



30 



"And they were bringing children to him so that he 
might touch them: and the disciples rebuked them. 
But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said 
to them, 

"Permit the children to come to me; do not hinder 
them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as 
these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive 
the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it at 
all. " And he took them in his arms and began bless- 
ing them, laying his hands upon them." 

This short piece was on the back of our church bul- 
letin on June 14, 1959. I was eleven years old. Rev- 
erend Harold Crocker was my pastor and this must 
have come from part of his sermon on that Sunday. It 
was entitled: 

Christ and the Children 

"We would have lacked one of the sweetest, gentlest, 
and most human portraits of our Lord had the Gos- 
pel writers left out the story of Christ with the chil- 
dren. Many a mother has bent over her child with 
deeper love, many a parent has felt the sacredness 
of his trust more keenly, and much of the practical 
benevolence and noble sacrifice for the welfare of 
children has come about because of this one episode 
in the story of Jesus. 

Christ called a little child and set him in the midst 
of the crowd about him. He called the child; and the 
child came. There is much in the best of us, which 
resists Christ and his claims upon us. Not so with the 
child. 



deal with children indiscriminately in their religious 
teaching. It is a mistaken notion that children need 
to be intellectually forced to the Saviour, or fright- 
ened into trusting him. They need to be ALLOWED 
to come. Jesus said, "Let the little children come to 
me." They need a very gentle leading, and, above 
all, nothing done to hinder or discourage them. 

It is the sacred duty of every congregation of every 
church to make adequate provision for the spiritual 
training of its children. Boys and girls of every fam- 
ily should be taught as soon as they can learn holy 
truths; they should be brought to public worship as 
soon as they can behave with propriety; they should 
be regarded with love and affection as the future 
congregation." 

This last paragraph is exactly what we in WH&FMS 
have been striving to do for years. We are all about 
making "adequate provision for the spiritual training 
of our children." We sponsor programming each year 
for King's Jewels, Junior Action and YWA groups. 
We are committed to following the example of our 
Lord concerning the children and placing upon them 
the value they deserve. 

Please join us as we pray for our families and our 
children. 

Jesus said, "Suffer the little children to come unto 
me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom 
of God."* 



Our Lord then used the occasion to teach the lesson, 
"Except ye be converted, and become as little chil- 
dren, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heav- 
en. " This is not to call all children innocent! Chil- 
dren are not innocent as every parent and teacher 
knows. Nor does this mean that only children are 
eligible for kingdom citizenship. This is an approval 
of certain childlike character traits which man must 
have in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. 

The words of the Master rebuke those who would 



Ms. Randee Davis is 
National President of the 
Advent Christian Women s 
Home and Foreign 
Mission Society' 




31 



Breast Cancer 
Be-Attitudes! 



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1 5 2 Periodicals Postage Paid 007-740 

00004343 12/2004 
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Serials Dept 
CB# 3938 Davis Librarv 
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l..l.ll...l.l,l.,..l!,l.,ln.!!l 



Witness 



Volume 53, Issue 1 

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ServicesCaadventchristian.org 
Jan Thomas Assistant Editor 

Jan ThomasCaacgc. us 
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ExecDirectCaadventchristian.org 

Keith Wheaton Publications Coordinator 

KeithCa acgc.us 



International Missionaries 



Area Directors: 

Scott Dombrosky — Latin 

America/Short-Term Missions 
sdombrosky(aj,comcast.net 
John Gilbert — Team Leader 
Johnia99pliisl.org 
Frank Jewett — Europe/Africa 
tjewclKa megalink. net 
John Roller — Urban/Ethnic 
jroller@adventchristian.org 
Clio Thomas — Asia/Pacific 
cliowestva@msn. com 
Honduras 

David Vignali (5/10) 
c/o Teen Missions 
Apartado Postal 4094 
San Pedro Sula 
HONDURAS 
dcvigna/i@acgc. us 
Liberia 

Abraham David 
Advent Christian Church 
PO. Box 4669 
Monrovia, LIBERIA 
advent_christian@yahoo.corn 

Malaysia 

Victor and Nesamony 

Devadason, 

Beaulah Margreat Devasa- 

hayam 

No. 24 Jalan Pandan 12 

Taman Dato Hormat 42500 

Teluk Panglima Garang 

K. Langat, Selangor 

MALAYSIA 

acbcmalavsia(<.vyahoo.com 

James and Mercy Devadas- 
son 

20 Jalan Intan 4 

Taman Intan 

86000 Kluang, Johor 

MALAYSIA 

adventchristian(iv hotmail. 

com 

Ruth Devairakkam 

36 Jalan 14/2 
Tarnan Sri Kluang 
86000 Kluang, Johor 
MALAYSIA 
ruthadvent(a\vahoo.com 



Philippines 

Jeff and Penny Vann 

(7/14 & 5/12; Elizabeth, 
10/24; Connie, 3/29; 
Naomi, 10/11) 
P.O. Box 223 
9000 Cagayan de Oro 
Philippines 
JeffvannCw, acgc.us 
pennyvannCwxicgc. us 

Grant Aldridge (7/27) 

PO.Bo.x223 

9000 Cagayan de Oro 

Philippines 

aldrldge@home.philcom.ph 



National Missionaries 

Memphis 

Francis and Lyne Ssebi- 

kindu 

2175Carrollwood 
Cordova, TN 38018 
Jssebikindu@ worldnet. 



Mexico 

Juan "Martin" Camacho 

Valdez 

c/o John Gilbert 
PO. Box 9019 
CalexiccCA 9223 1-90 19 

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c/o John Gilbert 

PO. Box 9019 SF 168 

Calexico,CA 92231-9019 

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Desire Ahola 

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@hotmail.com 

Ghana 
Simon Bissah 

A.C.C. 

PO. Box 604 

Nsawam, Eastern Region 
Ghana 

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India 

Earl and Martha Wright 

(4/16 & 10/17) 
PO. Box 3 164 
Guindy Chennai 600 032 
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Ernie Schache( 1/29) 

1 6 Coventry Way 
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Auckland 1311 
New Zealand 
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Kenya 
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P.O. Box 6H 
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New Zealand 
David Burge 

12 Bcttina Place 

Manurewa 

Auckland, NEW ZEALAND 

dburge@slingshot. co. nz 

South Africa 
Nathan Fernando 

14 Dick Muller Drive 
Norkem Park 1 620 
S.AFRICA 2028 
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India 

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Box 3 1 64 

Guindy, Chennai 600 032 

China 

All correspondence should 
be channeled through the 
missions office. 



Actwiii Chrisliun Hiiiicvi (ISSN #0741-4302) is published liinuinliily by Ihc Advent Christian General Conferenee of 
America. 1460! Albemarle Rd.. P.O. Box 23152, Charlotte, NC 2X227. Subseriplion rates in the United States and Canada: 
One year $15.00. Single copy $2.75. Overseas rate, one year $18.00. Periodicals postage paid at Chariotte, NC. and ad- 
ditional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Advent Christian Witness. P.O. Box 23152. Chariotte. 
NC 28227. Printed in Canada. 

As the official publication of the Advent Christian General Conference, the Advent Cliristian Witness publishes the 
teachings of the Advent Christian Church and promotes the task of disciple-making both in North America and around the 
world. The views expressed in this magazine are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those of the editor or 
the Advent ( hrislian General Conference. Member: livungelical Press Association. Copyright i 2005. 



From the Editor 






Contents 




Against the Odds 

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing 
move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work 
of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the 
Lord is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58 NIV). 

It was the Sunday after Christmas and my wife and I 
wanted to go to an evening service. The only op- 
tion within 20 miles was a nearby American Baptist 
church — a white clapboard structure nestled in a 
grove of evergreens with a Christmas card frosting 
of snow. When the Wheaton family filled a pew in 
that little country church, we literally doubled the 
number of worshipers in attendance. 

After the service, I introduced myself to the pas- 
tor and told him I worked for the Advent Christian 
General Conference. He gladly responded, ''We have 
a Sunday School teacher who's Advent Christian!" 1 
thought he must be mistaken. After all, we're a small 
denomination, so I figured he must have confused 
us with some larger group with a similar-sounding 
name. Less than ten others were present in that little 
Baptist church. Yet, here was the pastor telling me 
that someone else in the room was an Advent Chris- 
tian. 



What is Disciplemal^ing? Part 3 4 

Rev. David Ross 

One Sunday at the Church on 

Pearl Street 6 

Rev. David S. McCarthy 

Our History: William Miller and the 
Early Phases of the Advent 
Movement 10 

Rev. Orin Roe Jenks 

What Prayer Posture is Best? 15 

IVIariam Snow-Priebe 

Much Prayer — Much Blessing 17 

Dee Duke 



A Word From Our President 24 

Rev. Glenn Rice 

As Children 26 

Dawn Russell 

Introducing... 28 

Pam Buchanan 

What's On Top? 30 

Pam Buchanan 



I've never had a course in statistics or probability, 
but I have some sense of the great unlikelihood of 
certain events. For instance, it's highly unlikely that 
(Continued on page 23) 



^l^amMAKlNG? 



PART 3 



BY REV. DAVID ROSS 




This Time It's Personal 



Several months ago one of our pastors, Rev. David W. Davis, wrote to 
ask the following question: 

'We have heard a lot about disciplemaking over the past few years, hut 
I would like someone to tell me exactly what it means to make disciples. 
Would you please publish a good explanation of what is involved in 
making disciples? " 

To answer this question we asked one of Advent Christian General 
Conferences leading proponents of disciplemaking, former executive 
director Rev David Ross, to share his views and experiences on the 
subject. The following is part three of a three-part series answering the 
question: 



What is disciplemaking: 



Disciplemaking in the pattern of Jesus is so relational that it is hard to discuss it in merely philo- 
sophical terms. We seem to learn best by personal experience. So, at the risk of embarrassing 
(or even infuriating!) a few very good friends, let me share with you some of the things the Lord 
has been teaching me through three personal disciplemaking relationships. And yes, we're going to name 
names. 



You know Keith Wheaton as the efficient, professional editor of the award- 
winning Advent Christian Witness magazine (and other A.C. publications). 
But I was introduced to Keith when he was an inquisitive, ambitious, aspiring 
eighth-grade musician. It is not merely in retribution for delegating to me this 
extensive, three-part writing assignment that I bring Keith into this discussion 
by way of example. My experiences with Keith have taught me a great deal 
about the potential of intensive, interpersonal training. Keith has always been 
intense concerning whatever he is applying himself to do. And as an adoles- 
cent, he was perhaps more intent upon learning what he could from select, 
experienced, trusted mentors than any young person I had known up to that 
point. 




Keith Wheaton in I9HI 



(Continued on page 20) 



A teenager *s decision to visit an African- 
American church leads to an experience he 
will never forget. 



I 



a 



One Sunday 
Church on le 



iil l-H H-" >r- !■ 




f 




By I 



T 



Wan 
dom." 
teenag 
atern( 

I was a 
dears 
^'ice,Fi 
Bibb 
*urch( 
ofdiffe 



at the 
earl Street 



By David S. McCarthy 



The speaker studied his audience for a mo- 
ment, then cleared his throat and announced, 
"My topic today is 'Going Forward by Going 
Backward.'" Lights in my brain flashed "warning: 
you are about to encounter industrial-strength bore- 
dom." I sighed and wondered why this red-blooded 
teenager had chosen to waste a gorgeous October 
afternoon indoors at a church service. 

I was a high school senior and God had been sending 
clear signals that I should go into Christian ser- 
vice. For over a year I had immersed myself in the 
Bible, witnessed to anything that moved and visited 
churches. I especially enjoyed visiting churches 
of different denominations where I could observe 



preachers in action and experience varied styles of 
worship. In my hometown of Portsmouth, N.H., Fd 
been inside every church building with one excep- 
tion: the African-American church on Pearl Street. 
For a long time I'd wanted to check out this con- 
gregation but held back. There were rumors about 
shouting preachers and sermons that ran well beyond 
the starting time of NFL games. Besides, it was 
1952, and 1 wasn't sure how it would look for a white 
teenager to be seen entering a black church. 

One day, our local newspaper reported that the 
church on Pearl Street was going to hold a big an- 
niversary celebration on a Sunday afternoon. A 
guest choir would sing and a seminary student from 



Boston would deliver the message. When I learned 
that members of the local clergy association would 
bring greetings, I knew that other Caucasians would 
be present. I decided to attend the program. 

Mentally I computed 
this man's measure- 
ments and decided he 
would make a great 
stand-in for Zacchaeus 



When the day arrived, the kids in my youth group 
drove to a rally in a nearby town, but I stayed be- 
hind and walked to the church on Pearl Street. The 
sanctuary was upstairs and much smaller than it ap- 
peared from the outside. About one hundred people 
had squeezed into the pews, and a dozen of us had 
to stand in the back. I was relieved to find that the 
service was lively, but not raucous. The hymns 
were familiar, sung as only an African-American 
congregation can sing. I was moved and wondered 
why singing didn't reach the same level of enthusi- 
asm and joy in the churches I knew best. The visit- 
ing choir delivered a stirring rendition of 'A City 
Called Heaven," featuring a gifted soprano soloist. 
The beautiful young black woman not only gave a 
"professional performance, but her features glowed 
with a deep love for Christ. Then it was time for the 
sermon. 

My experience taught me that great preachers are 
tall and dynamic — think of Billy Graham. Mentally 
I computed this man's measurements and decided he 
would make a great stand-in for Zacchaeus. Strike 
one! 

My experience also taught me that great sermons 
have something called "bulletin board appeal." 
Titles such as "Will the World End Before I960?" 
and "Have You Committed the Unpardonable Sin?" 



ranked high on my list. This man's "Going Forward 
by Going Backward" didn't even register on my rat- 
ing scale. Strike two! 

I expected "strike three" at any moment, but it never 
came. When the speaker read Luke 2:41-52 
about Jesus being left behind as a boy, I saw 
that the title I had so quickly dismissed made 
perfect sense. The speaker explained that in 
Bible times men and women walked to and 
from feasts in Jerusalem in separate groups. 
Small children stayed with the women, but 
by age twelve a boy might elect to travel with 
either the males or females. So when the men 
« started out, Joseph assumed that Jesus was 

with Mary, and when the women started out, 
his mother thought he was with Joseph. That 
night when the two groups converged, they 
realized that Jesus was with neither company. He 
had been left behind. Before Mary and Joseph could 
go forward io their destination they had to go back- 
ward Xo find the Jesus they had left behind. 

That's when the young seminary student waxed 
eloquent. He pointed out that on this anniversary 
Sunday the church on Pearl Street was making 
big plans. They were thinking about outreach pro- 
grams, building an educational unit — things that 
today would be called casting a vision for the future. 
"But," said the preacher, "before going forward with 
your great plans, you need to check and make sure 
you have Jesus with you. Maybe you'll discover that, 
like Mary and Joseph, you've left Jesus behind. If 
so, you'll need to go back to where you left him and 
make sure he's with you for the rest of your journey." 

The longer he preached, the more compelling his 
sermon became. The physical stature of the man no 
longer mattered, for he was delivering a message 
from God. His sentences flowed with a dynamic 
rhythm I'd seldom heard, his words marching in a 
stately cadence that reinforced his major points. His 
oratory soared, and we were carried beyond that lit- 
tle sanctuary to the gates of glory. I was spellbound! 

I only remember a handful of sermons from my teen 
years, but I've never forgotten what I heard and felt 



8 



that Sunday afternoon. In the decades since, I've 
dreamed dreams for my personal life and for the 
churches Fve served. As the excitement builds and 
my heart beats faster with thoughts of what God 
might help me accomplish, I find myself standing 
again in that small African-American church hear- 
ing the words, 'As you make plans to go forward, be 
sure you have Jesus with you. And if he isn't there, 
go back to where you left him. Remember, you can 
only go forward by going backward." 

I've learned that when making plans for growth and 
expansion, a church needs to ask, "Is Jesus with us?" 
It's possible to make wonderfully creative plans on 
our own, only to find that we have overlooked Jesus. 
He himself said, "Without me you can do nothing," 
and whatever we attempt will only count for eternity 
if we have Jesus with us each step of the way. 

That's also true in our personal lives. As Chris- 
tians we frequently need to ask, "Is Jesus with 
me?" When we first meet Jesus as our Forgiver and 
Leader, we fully intend to always put his interests 
first and seek his will. But then we start skipping a 
daily quiet time or neglect attending public worship 
or Bible studies. Any relationship that isn't nourished 
regularly grows distant over time, and our relation- 
ship with the Lord is not exempt from that danger. 
And sometimes we fail to consider his wishes or 



pen at any age, no matter how long one has been a 
believer. But the good news is that, when we return 
to where we left him, he welcomes us and offers to 
restore and guide. 

Yes, my afternoon at the church on Pearl Street 
turned out to be well spent, but I've lived with one 
regret ever since. You see, I didn't stay for the social 
gathering after the service. As soon as the benedic- 
tion was pronounced, I walked out of the building 
instead of going downstairs to the fellowship hall. 
Had 1 not left in such a rush, not only could I have 
enjoyed cookies and punch, but I could have told the 
young seminary student that I would never forget 
his message — and shaken the hand of Martin Luther 
King, Jr. 

And the soprano soloist? Her name was Coretta 
Scott, soon to be Mrs. Coretta Scott King. You never 
know. You just never know. 

Perhaps you will remember my experience, but it's 
more important that you remember the point of the 
sermon Dr. King preached on that October after- 
noon. You can only go forward — as a Christian and 
as a church — by making sure that Jesus is with you. 
And if you discover you've left him behind, go back 
to where you left him. He waits for you with open 
arms.'fr 



The longer he preached, the 
more compelling his sermon 
became. The physical stature 
of the man no longer mattered, 
for he Avas delivering a message 
from God. 



obey his directions. Then one day, we wake up to 
discover that we've settled on some personal agendj 
instead of his, and left him behind. This can hap- 



Rev. David S. McCarthy is pastor of the Hickoiy 
Grove A C Church, Sahida, S. C. 



Our History 

William Miller 

and the Early Phases of the 

Advent Movement 

PART 1 



Address delivered at the biennial meeting of the 

Advent Christian General Conference^ 

June 26 J 1932^ Campground^ Plainville^ Connecticut 



by Orrin Roe Jenks 



I 



10 



William Miller and Public Services 

William Miller was born in Pittsfield, Massachu- 
setts, February 15, 1782, to William and Paulina 
Phelps Miller. 

When the boy was four years old his parents moved 
to the eastern section of New York. Here William 
grew to manhood; received a limited education 
in the public school; was married June 29, 1803, 
to Lucy Smith; became a soldier and served 
courageously in the War of 1812; acquired two 
hundred acres of land and built a commodious home 
at Low Hampton, New York, which was the family 
center until his death. 

After reaching maturity William became a Deist, 
thus joining the class of those who stood opposed to 
Christianity. However, 
he was related to those 
who were consecrated 
followers of Christ, 
and was thus held in 
close touch with the 
Church. 



Adventist 
Movement 




Elisha Miller, an uncle of William Miller, was pas- 
tor of the Baptist Church in Low Hampton where 
a house of worship was erected. In this church it 
was the custom at times for a sermon to be read in 
the absence of the regular pastor. While reading a 
sermon on a Lord's Day in September 1816, a great 
conviction came upon Mr. Miller. "He was overpow- 
ered by the inward struggle of emotion," says Bliss, 
and took his seat. Mr. Miller has described this expe- 
rience in these words: 

"Suddenly the character of a Savior was vividly 
impressed upon my mind. It seemed that there might 
be a Being so good and compassionate as to himself 
atone for our transgressions, and thereby save us 
from suffering the penalty of sin. I immediately felt 
how lovely such a Being must be; and imagined that 
I could cast myself into the arms of, and trust in the 
mercy of, such a One. But the question arose, 'How 
can it be proved that such a Being does exist?' Aside 
from the Bible 1 found that I could get no evidence 
of the existence of such a Savior, or even of a future 
state. I felt that to believe in such a Savior without 
evidence would be visionary in the extreme. I saw 
that the Bible did bring to view just such a Savior as 



William Miller 

was born 

1782 



1775-1783 

Revolutionary 

War 



1784 

Benjamin Franklin 

invented bifocal 

glasses 



1786 

First ice cream 

made commercially 

in NYC 



1789 
George Washington 



1793 
Eli Whitney 

invented 
cotton gin 




Historical 
Events 




11 



I needed; and I was perplexed to find how an unin- 
spired book should develop principles so perfectly 
adapted to the wants of a fallen world. I was con- 
strained to admit that the Scriptures must be a rev- 
elation from God. They became my delight; and in 
Jesus I found a friend. The Savior became to me the 
chiefest among ten thousand; and the Scriptures, 
which before were dark and contradictory, now 
became the lamp to my feet and light to my path." 



God. He thus writes: "The Bible now became my 
chief study, and 1 can truly say I searched it with 
great delight. I found the half was never told me. I 
wondered why I had not seen its beauty and glory 
before, and marveled that I could have ever rejected 
it. I found everything revealed that my heart could 
desire, and a remedy for every disease of the soul. I 
lost all taste for other reading, and applied my heart 
to get wisdom from God." 



Thus, at the age of thirty-four, William Miller 
was changed from an unhappy Deist into a joyful, 
consecrated follower of Christ. He now erected 
the family altar, united with the Baptist Church of 



From the time of his conversion until Mr. Miller 
entered upon his public labors there is a period of 
fifteen years of patient study of the Bible with par- 
ticular reference to the doctrine of the second com- 




V'illiam Miller 

married 
Lucy Smith ^^ 


^ 


1807 

Robert Fulton 

opened American 

rivers to two-way 


1803 ^^ 


1806 


travel with 


1 ^^^1 


Noah Webster 


steamboat, 


^^^^^ I 


published 


"Clermont" 


^^ 1804 

Louis and 
Clark 


Dictionary 

\" '\ 


^^ 


expedition 




i^^y^j^^^ 


began 


\ 


^^^^^BHw| 



1808 


1809 


Beethoven 


Humphry Davy 


composed 


made first 


"Fifth 


incandescent 


Symphony" 


electric light 






Low Hampton and became active in the work of the ing of Christ. In this study the following conclusion 
church. was reached: 

Mr. Miller became a careful student of the Word of ''While thus studying the Scriptures, I became sat- 



12 





Capt. William 

Miller served 

in War 

1812 



1812 

US 

declared 



1814 

Frances Scott 

Key wrote "The 

Star Spangled 

Banner" 



Miller's 
home built 

in Low 

Hampton, 

NY 

1815 



1815 

George 

Stevenson 

patented first 

steam 

locomotive 




William 

Miller 

dedicated his 

life to Christ 

1816 



> 



1819 

Rene Laennec 

invented 

stethascope 



war on 
Britain 





After years of 

studying the Bible, 

Miller stated his 

belief that Christ 

will return on or 

before 1843 

1822 



1820 
Missouri 
Compromise- 
Maine admitted 

to US as free 

state; Missouri 

as slave state 




isfied if the prophecies which have been fulfilled in 
the past are any criterion by which to judge the man- 
ner of the fulfillment of those which are future, that 
the popular views of the spiritual reign of Christ — a 
temporal millennium before the end of the world, 
and the Jews' return — are not sustained by the Word 
of God. . .1 found it plainly taught in the Scriptures 
that Jesus Christ will again descend to this earth, 
coming in the clouds of heaven, in all the glory of 
the Father." 

In a statement of his faith made under date of Sep- 
tember 5, 1822, in Article XV, he says: "I believe 
that the second coming of Jesus Christ is near, even 



at the door, even within twenty-one years — on or 
before 1843." 

Gradually, year by year, the conviction grew that he 
must make known to his fellow-men his belief that 
the Lord would come personally not later than the 
year 1843. 

Mr. Miller began his public labors in the autumn of 
1831. His first public lecture on the Second Coming 
of Christ was delivered in Dresden, New York. Such 
was the effect of his message on this day, which 
appears to have been the second Sunday in August 
1831, that Mr. Miller was requested to remain and 



13 



lecture during the week. The people came together in lecturing in the churches, chiefly in New York and 
large numbers from the neighboring towns, a revival 
broke out, and in thirteen families all but two per- 
sons were hopefully converted. 



Other invitations were received from the churches of 




Vermont. 

In nearly every place revivals attended and followed 
his series of lectures. Of one period — August to De- 
cember 1836 — he writes: 'T have not visited a place 
where the Lord has not given me one or two souls 
for my hire." 

In Lansingburgh, New York, where he lectured for 
nine days in January 1838 in the Baptist Church, a 
powerful effect was produced. It was estimated that 
at least one hundred persons who held infidel views 
were converted and brought to believe the Bible. 
Such work went on for this period of eight years, the 



Miller became an 

evangelist and 

prophetic speaker; 

lectures mostly in NY 

andVT 

1831 -1839 



1825 
Erie Canal 
opened for 

traffic 




1831 

Nat Turner led 

most significant 

slave uprising in 

American history 




1836 

Battle of The 

Alamo 



i 



I 





1838 


1837 


"Trail of Tears" 


Samuel Morse 


Cherokee Indians 


patented 


removed to OK 


telegraph 


'>-^,-M"t 


machine 


u<^*^ ':_:> 


:^ '-^ 


4' 7 Nr-^ 


.mIL^c^^ 


r-.^:ySTT5*:v 



Wmlf 



Congregationalists, Baptists, and Methodists, and in 
almost every place visited by Mr. Miller, backsliders 
were reclaimed and sinners converted. In the autumn 
of 1833, when Mr. Miller had reached the age of 
fifty-one, he was licensed as a minister of Christ by 
the Baptist Church of Hampton and Whitehall. Dur- 
ing the years 1831-1839, Mr. Miller labored diligently 



meetings being held chiefly in Baptist churches and 
confined largely to the territory adjacent to eastern 
New York. Sinners were converted, believers edified. 
Practically every church where Mr. Miller lectured 
was blessed with a gracious revival. In the period 
from October 1, 1834 to June 9, 1839, he delivered 
eight hundred lectures.'^ 



14 




raiier 




t 



06 mm 




051 i 



Should we sit, stand, kneel, raise our arms, or 
face the wall? 




by Miriam Snow Priebe 

E dropped in at a little dollar store a few weeks ago 
around noon, and found that the store seemed 
empty. There were no other customers and, as far 
as I could see, no clerks either. Puzzled, 1 started to 
walk toward the back of the store, thinking that there 
might be a back room where an employee might be 
checking stock. 1 was startled when I came upon a 
man, lying flat on his face. When I realized he was 
praying, 1 backed up quietly and waited. 

In a few minutes he returned to the 
front of the store and, without expla- 
nation or embarrassment, took his 
place at the check-out counter. As 
I drove home, I thought about how 
faithful the followers of Moham- 
med are in praying regularly. Five 
times a day they prostrate them- 
selves before God. They don't do 
so after finding a convenient place 
for prayer. They pray wherever they 
are, and their posture during prayer 
reveals their awe and reverence for 
the Creator of the universe. 

Years ago, Charles and 1 visited an 
Orthodox Christian Church in 



Timosora, Romania and watched as worshippers arriving for the service prostrated themselves on a 
cold cement floor - not even a rug for them. They were men of all ages (The women sat with covered 
heads in a balcony upstairs). I wondered then about those men. Were their prayers more effective 
because of their prayer posture? What posture makes our petitions more powerful? 

I was brought up in an Advent Christian parsonage where our family met together each morning for 
daily devotions. Dad read a short passage of scripture and made a few comments. As we girls grew 
older we sometimes shared our thoughts. For the first part of that devotional time we sat in our chairs. 
When the time for prayer came, we knelt by our chairs with our heads bowed and eyes closed. If we 
opened our eyes during that time, we looked at the back of the chair. If we were running late, we 
stood in a circle, joined our hands, and prayed with heads bowed and eyes closed. If we looked up 
during prayer we saw the others who prayed. There was no central spot to which we all looked as we 
prayed. At night we knelt by our beds before we went to sleep. At prayer meeting we knelt for all the 
prayers, which were often long. 

After 1 was grown up, I took my mother to a large church where my husband was speaking. The 
colorful hangings and the gold cross on the altar were not familiar to her. Some people were already 
kneeling in prayer. 
Mom whispered to 
me anxiously, "Do 
1 have to kneel?" I 
assured her that it 
was not necessary 
to kneel, but added; 
"We're kneeling to 
God." 

"Oh," she said happily, and 
knelt with everyone else. 1 
could see her lips moving in 
prayer. She had spent a lifetime 
on her knees, by bedsides, in hos- 
pitals, at private and public worship; 
but she never had happened to kneel 
where people knelt on kneelers and 
faced a central cross! 



1 found it very strange when 1 at- 
tended another church where every- 

(Continiied on page 25) 



by 



One Pastor's Journey from Tolerating 
His People to Loving Them 




jttt ^^4^ 



litdc prayer Utile blessing 





some prayer 



some blessing 




MUCH 
blessing 



"The effectual fervent prayer 



a righteous man availeth MUCH," 



Jefferson Baptist Church began as 
a church plant in 1973 in Jef- 
ferson, Oregon, a small farming 
community in the Willamette Valley. 
My wife and 1 were among the found- 
ing members during the time when 
I was a student at Western Baptist 
College in Salem. I graduated in 1975 
and went back to our family dairy in 
Washington State. Farming was the 
love of my life. 

Nevertheless, at the end of 1976 we 
went back to Jefferson Baptist — with 
me as the pastor. I fought that move 
with everything in me. I loved farming 
and did not want to leave the farm. 1 
was an extreme introvert, I struggled 
with relationships, and the whole 
thought of being a pastor scared me to 
death. But I couldn't shake the strong 
sense that God was calling me back to 
be the pastor. 

There were about 25 people attend- 
ing the church when we began, and 
in spite of my lack of experience and 
skill at preaching and pastoring, God 



17 



blessed us with more people and 
the church steadily grew. We met 
in the local grade-school gym 
until the fall of 1979, when we 
moved into our own building on 
five acres. We continued to grow, 
and by 1980 Jefferson Baptist had 
grown to about 200 people. 




The eight years that followed were 
not good years. The church was 
full of disunity and financial prob- 
lems. Many people left, and the 
ones who stayed weren't happy. I 
tried as hard as I knew how to be 
a good pastor and to do the things 
that would cause our church to 
grow. On the farm my father used 
to say that there wasn't anything I 
couldn't accomplish if I was will- 
ing to work hard enough. So every 
time someone left the church 1 
would work a little harder, put in 
more time, and start another pro- 
gram. Nothing seemed to work. 
I continued to upset and offend 
people no matter what I did and 
no matter how hard 1 tried. 

By the end of 1988, I was bitter 
and angry at God — and at most 
of the people I knew. I thought 
that because I had given up my 
lifelong dream of farming, God 
would surely bless me. I couldn't 
understand why God was treat- 



ing me this way. I became disil- 
lusioned, weary, and depressed. I 
came to the conclusion that God 
had not really called me to min- 
istry after all, but the dairy was 
sold, and I had no idea what I was 
going to do with my life. 

Then 1 received a letter from Dr. 
Joe Aldrich, president of Mult- 
nomah Bible College, announcing 
that the Salem-area pastors were 
going to get together at the coast 
for the first ever "Prayer Summit." 
It would be four days of prayer; no 
agenda, no programs or speakers. 
Just prayer. I wasn't excited about 
praying for four days. It sounded 
boring to me, but I decided to 
attend. My plan was to skip the 
prayer times and walk on the 
beach, think about my life, write 
my letter of resignation, and try to 
figure out what to do next. 

I went to the first prayer time 
just to be polite. I wasn't there 
for even 20 minutes when the 
thought entered my head that 
I had tried everything during 
the last 13 years. . . everything 
except prayer. I had prayed, 
but never had been devoted to 
prayer. Our church had prayer 
times, but they were attended 
by a small minority. None of it 
was even close to what I ex- 
perienced in just twenty minutes 
at that Prayer Summit. For the 
next four days God turned me 
inside out. He convicted me of my 
prayerlessness, my independent 
spirit, and my belief that 1 could 
accomplish this "pastor thing" 
with enough work. 1 had never 
realized how arrogant I was. 
I knew things had to change. I 



started by significantly increasing 
my own prayer time. I had just 
finished reading the biography 
of George Muller, so I tried to 
model my prayer life after his. I 
also established prayer meetings 
in our church almost every night 
and every morning. I preached on 
prayer every Sunday for the next 
four months. 

But the thing that blessed me most 
personally was that people started 
praying for me! One Sunday, I 
preached a sermon on the impor- 
tance of praying for your pastor 
and asked people to make a com- 
mitment to pray for me fifteen 
minutes, once each month. Over 
one hundred people committed 
to do that! Each week in church, 
they would give me a "thumbs 
up" as they caught my eye, if they 
had prayed for me that week. 




God began to change our church, 
and he has continued to do so 
over the last fifteen years. The 
first change was the noticeable 
growth of love and unity that took 
place. Before we started pray- 
ing, the harder I tried to make 
us more unified, the more fight- 
ing resulted. Now we began to 
pray 1 Thess. 3:12: "May the Lord 



18 



cause you to increase and abound 
in love for one another, and for 
all men" (NASB). The more we 
prayed this, the more God an- 
swered. Shortly after I finished 
my sermon series on prayer, I 
preached a thirteen-week series 
on "love." Out of that our church 
mission statement was born: 

"Jefferson Baptist Church is the T 
love you' church. We are continu- 
ally saying, i love you' to God, 
to each other, to the greater body 
of Christ, to our unsaved neigh- 
bors and friends, and to the whole 
world, until the whole world can 
say, 'I love You, God.'" 

In addition, the more we prayed, 
the more God put his heart in 
us to reach the lost. We experi- 
enced a growing sense of urgency 
to reach our neighbors and the 
world. We grew in boldness and 
in creative ways to reach out to 
the lost. Almost everybody in 
the church began praying for lost 
friends, work associates, family 
members, mission efforts, and 
countries around the world. 

We have identified twenty-one 
blessings that God has brought 



into our church since we de- 
voted ourselves to the ministry 
of prayer. They are all wonderful 
blessings, but one is especially 
important to me personally. God 
has changed me. 1 had always 
loved God deeply, and 1 went 
into ministry to obey him. But 1 
had just tolerated people. I had 
few relational skills and little 
desire to develop close relation- 
ships. For me, "loving people" 
had been pure duty. But when 
the people of Jefferson Bap- 
tist began to pray for me, God 
dramatically changed my heart 
toward the people — and he has 
changed their hearts toward me 
as well. 

Today, many more are praying 
for me than the original one 
hundred. Most of them pray 
more than fifteen minutes a 
month. Many of them pray spe- 
cifically for me, my family, and 
my ministry almost every day. 

Our church motto has become: 
"Much prayer — much blessing, 
little prayer — little blessing, no 
prayer — no blessing." We are 
asking God to bless us so we 
can be a blessing to the world. 




And, thanks to all those sheep 
who pray faithfully for me, I now 
love shepherding even more than 
1 loved taking care of the cows on 
the old family farm! 'fr 



Changes made by Dee Duke and 
his church: 

• Increased his own prayer time 

• Established prayer meetings 
almost every night and every 
morning 

• Preached on prayer every Sun- 
day for four months 

• Asked for people to commit to 
praying for him 

• Church began praying 1 Thess. 
3:12: "May the Lord cause you 
to increase and abound in love 
for one another, and for all 
men" (NASB). 

Results: 

• God dramatically changed his 
heart toward the people of the 
church and theirs toward him 

• The Church noticed growth of 
love and unity 

• God put his heart in them to 
reach the lost 

• They experienced a growing 
sense of urgency to reach neigh- 
bors and the world 

• They grew in boldness 

• They grew in creative ways to 
reach out to the lost 



DEE DUKE is the author of Prayer 
Quest: Breaking through to Your God- 
Given Dreams and Destiny (Pray! 
Books © 2004, www.praymag.com). 
Dee and his wife, Patty, are parents to 
eight children. 



19 




Keith Wheaton giving a report 
on his tour with the Continental 
Singers 



(contimiecl from page 5) 

From the advice of the Apostle Paul to Timothy (recorded in 2 Timothy 
2:2), an adage has developed, that to most effectively make disciples 
we should look for those who are faithful, available and teachable. 
Although these traits combine to form the unfortunate acrostic "FAT," 
a very memorable term, I assure you that none of the persons I'm us- 
ing as examples for this piece embodies the physical image that term 
might conjure up in your mind. But each has become a blessed learning 
experience for me, in part because they have characterized these three 
invaluable qualities: faithfulness (to the Lord and to me), availability 
(commitment or whatever time is necessary), and a very teachable spirit. 

Keith has always asked questions. Curious people are often self-motivat- 
ed learners. Our relationship was forged most significantly via countless 
hours of preparation and on-the-road ministry with the Northern Lights 
Youth Choir. Although I was his pastor throughout the year, during 
youth choir season Keith became my shadow. He worked very hard at 
helping to make the choir's ministry as effective as possible, voluntarily 
becoming my "right-hand man." But at the same time he was discussing 
(and often challenging) virtually every decision 1 made. For example, 
when the occasional inevitable disciplinary problems would arise within 
the group, I would often hear from Keith, "Why did you put up with 
that?" or "Who needs that grief? LU tell you what I would have done...." 

Explanations of the importance of both firmness and grace 

were most readily absorbed in such difficult, yet teachable 

moments. 

Disciplemaking requires time together in the crucible of life, 
and lots of it! That investment in Keith was probably dis- 
proportionate to what was allotted to any of his peers, but it 
was willingly made because the hand of God and a calling to 
ministry were very evident in his life. As a Bible college stu- 
dent, Keith did a summer pastorate in a small church nearby, 
setting up office space in our church building so that we could 
interact on a daily basis. A few years later 1 was privileged to 
preach his ordination sermon, and in even more recent years 
we've had the special joy of working in partnership for the 
Advent Christian General Conference. Disciplemaking can 
produce bonds of friendship that enrich both ministry and life 
beyond description. God is good! 

During those same early pastoring years in Maine, a young 
college student began frequenting our church, even though, 
clearly, church had never been a priority in his life (to put it 
kindly). However, he had met on campus a lovely young lady 
who had recently become a regular participant in our church 

fellowship, and was growing spiritually in a joyous and almost visible manner. While I doubt that aspira- 
tions of spiritual growth were even on the radar screen of Greg Moody's life at that time, there is no doubt 

20 




Keith and Kathy Wheaton at his 
ordination service in Georgia 




Greg Moody meeting with Dave Ross 
and other committee members 




that Elaine Young was! And so he endured us for the sake of her 
(which proved to be a very wise choice). 

I'll never forget when Greg accepted the Lord into his life. It 
was during the Easter season, and the first time I served him the 
Lord's Supper was as part of one of the groups of twelve who 
gathered around our Upper Room table at the Maundy Thursday 
service. Elaine was fairly beaming at his side that precious eve- 
ning, and she has faithfully remained by Greg's side (quite often 
still beaming!) through the many years since. They soon became 
active in assisting with our youth ministry, mentored not only 
by Pastor Dave, but by a couple of noteworthy youth pastors as 
well: Jim Gilroy and later, Bryan Lamberton. 

Greg and Elaine, for several years, were active advisors with 
the Northern Lights Youth Choir. When a large group of young 
people are taken on the road for ministry, things will go wrong: 
things such as vehicle break-downs, epidemic sickness, broken 
arms and legs, mysterious ailments requir- 
ing trips to hospital emergency rooms, 
occasional vehicle accidents, inter-rela- 
tional problems, and the constant pressure. 
Despite these time-consuming set-backs. 



Greg and Elaine Moody on tour with the 
Northern Lights Choir 



to arrive on time and be prepared for ministry night after night were 
essential. The blessings and rewards of such ministry are many, but 
it is through the uninvited problems and crises that the most effective 
disciplemaking occurs. Long hours of conversational opportunities 
on the bus afford an invaluable disciplemaking forum. Jesus himself 
strategically utilized ministry trips in the training of the twelve. Why 
shouldn't we? A by-product of those ministry years for us was that 
thirty or more of those youth choir participants dedicated their lives to 
full-time church-related ministry vocations. 

Taking note of that phenomenon, after several years (as I'm a rather 




Greg Moody entertaining 
youth with a juggling act 



21 



slow learner myself), 1 determined that I needed to be investing more intentionally in disciplemaking ef- 
forts among the adults of my pastorate. After praying about whom to disciple, on the basis of the "faithful, 
available, teachable" criteria, I began meeting at 6:30 a.m. one day each week with a group of four guys (of 
whom Greg was one). We met at a local college cafeteria, where breakfast was available (and cheap!), and 
devoted a year of study to such matters as personal spiritual growth, the great doctrines of Scripture, and 
practical matters of ministry. Within the year a couple of the guys had already assembled a group of three 
or four with whom they were regularly sharing what they were learning. Therein is the essence of disciple- 
ship. Shortly after I left the pastorate 
in Maine to serve the Advent Chris- 
tian denomination, Greg was called to 
leave his career work with the Univer- 
sity of Maine and become full-time 
Youth Pastor at the church. Today 
he is Senior Pastor at State Road 
A.C. Church, where we had lovingly 
invested our lives in ministry for so 
many years. God is good! 

In 1993 1 became involved in help- 
I ^^^^^Hj^^^^^H - ^^^^^^^^^mgMmumgm ing a Nigerian student, studying at 

^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^" - ^^^^^^^^^Bgg^«g seminary in Charlotte, to establish 

the International Pilgrims Christian 
Center (IPCC), an Advent Christian- 
sponsored work targeted especially 
to reach the growing population of 
first generation immigrants from 
West Africa in our city. One of these 
immigrants with whom I formed an 
emotional and spiritual bond early on 
was Peter Awute. The night before 
we officially opened services in our rented storefront space, Peter and 1 were crawling around on our knees, 
hastily laying carpet for the new worship center. We have been on our knees together many times since. 
Peter has grown into real spiritual maturity and leadership over the years. After the planting pastor com- 
pleted his seminary studies in Charlotte and moved on, Peter was called to become pastor of IPCC. We have 
enjoyed rich fellowship often in his home and in the various ministry sites (four, so far) of the young and 
"homeless" congregation. 




Peter Awute, pastor of International Pilgrims Christian Center 
in Charlotte, NC, and Dave Ross, pastor of Fellowship AC 
Clnireh in Tavlorsville. NC 



Even after relocating from Charlotte a year ago by some eighty miles, I still continue meeting with Peter 
at least twice monthly to prayerfully work through the ministry needs of IPCC, but also to mentor Peter 
through the process toward his ordination with the Advent Christian Church. My current congregation, the 
Fellowship A.C. Church of Bethlehem, N.C., has entered into a growing sister church relationship with IPCC 
that will continually prove to be informative and rewarding for both congregations. There may be a signifi- 
cant cultural difference, and currently some daunting logistical problems faced by IPCC; but such circum- 
stances also provide fertile ground for the blessings from God that come only from obedience to Christ's 
Great Commission: actively, intentionally, strategically making disciples for him. It is our Lord's design for 
the growth of his church. It is the joy of our lives! God is good! '^ 



22 



"I am the only one left 



(Editorial continued) 
ril ever be recruited to play for the NBA. It could 
happen, but I'm pretty sure it won't, since I'm way 
too short and not quite NBA quality. Perhaps the 
chances are slightly better for randomly meeting 
another Advent Christian in a tiny Baptist church, 
but the odds are definitely against it. That's why I 
thought the Baptist preacher was mistaken. 

ACGC has roughly 300 churches in North Amer- 
ica. If our average church has 100 members — 
which is probably a generous estimate — I figured 
there must be only about 30,000 Advent Chris- 
tians on this continent. There are more American 
Baptists than that in Los Angeles! 

The Baptist denomination has 20 times the num- 
ber of churches we have, and 50 times the number 
of members we have in the U.S. and Canada. Even 
if we were the only two denominations, the chanc- 
es of meeting another 
Advent Christian would 
be 1 in 50. Throw in all 
the Methodists, Episcopa- 
lians, Southern Baptists, 

Nazarenes, Pentecostals, and Presbyterians, and 
the odds become truly staggering. 

So, I was sure the Baptist preacher was wrong. . . 
until I met Peggy, the Sunday School teacher. Not 
only was she an Advent Christian, she had also 
attended my and Kathy's alma mater, Berkshire 
Christian College. After the service, we three 
visited until the church doors were locked, dis- 
covering common threads in our AC experiences. 
As we were leaving, Peggy obliterated my already 
damaged statistical analysis by telling me that 
there were several more Advent Christians attend- 
ing that little Baptist church! 

Occasionally I find myself thinking like Elijah, when 
he complained, "I have been very zealous for the 
LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected 
your covenant. . . I am the only one left. . ." (1 Kings 
19:14). God let him know that things were not that 
bleak; there were still seven thousand in Israel who 
had not bowed down to Baal (v.l8). 

Sure, it's a little melodramatic, but when you're a 



lonely Advent Christian surrounded by multitudes 
of Baptists and Presbyterians, it's easy to feel iso- 
lated and unwelcome. But then I met Peggy. 

Both Elijah and I (and perhaps many other Advent 
Christians) suffer from limited vision. We only 
know what we see. Elijah saw no other believers 
so he concluded he was alone. I saw only 30,000 
Advent Christians (at best), so I concluded there 
weren't any more. 

But Peggy isn't included with those 30,000 in our 
churches. And she isn't the only Advent Christian 
attending that little Baptist church. It makes me 
wonder how many other AG's are out there that I 
can't see — not to mention other Christians who've 
embraced the truths we hold dear, because they've 
read something we published, or heard one of our 
folks speak up for our distinctive doctrines. 



Peggy didn't stop be- 
ing an Advent Christian 
(even her pastor called 
her by that name); she 
just stopped living near an AC church. Accord- 
ing to the U.S. Census Bureau, 15% of Americans 
move each year and the average American moves 
1 1 times in his life. This means the average AC 
church with 100 members could experience 100% 
turnover in membership in seven years. (Add that 
to the list of reasons why your pastor may feel like 
resigning some Monday mornings.) Occasionally, 
those who move may find themselves near another 
AC church; however, that's very unlikely, since we 
only have about 300 churches in North America. 
But that doesn't mean they stop being 'Advent 
Christian." Peggy didn't. 

The next time you or someone you know voices a 
lament about the meager membership of ACGC, 
remember Peggy. She's proof that no one but 
God knows the true scope of our work. We may 
see only 300 AC churches with 30,000 members. 
But the Lord sees, and will someday show us, all 
the "Peggys" whose faith has been nurtured by 
Advent Christians, and whose lives are making 
a difference in his kingdom, far beyond what we 
can see.'fr 23 




Advent Christian 

General Conference 

Interim President 

Rev. Glenn Rice 



'^9 



24 



A WORD FROM 
OUR PRESIDENT 

"A CHALLENGE FOR THE NEW YEAR" 

The dawn of a new year is upon us! While we wonder where time "goes," 
time keeps ticking away. Too bad we spend more time wishing and less 
time doing! We might realize some of our desires if we put half as much 
effort into perseverance as we spend complaining! The challenge we face 
is to make every desire God's desire, and we will find his strength to do 
what we are called to do. 

Benjamin Franklin once remarked, "Be at war with your vices; at peace 
with your neighbors, and let every new year tind you a better man." Now 
that is indeed a great challenge, especially since it requires a determined 
effort on our part. That seems to be the problem, however. We don't want 
to put forth the effort required to make changes. Fear plays a role in this. 
So does the past. But we cannot forget that God is with us! We must not 
fail to remember that the life we live is intended to be lived to the glory of 
God. 

Herein lies the problem. If we live for ourselves alone, then it doesn't mat- 
ter whether we do the things we know we ought to do. Once we under- 
stand that we are called to live for the Lord, we will see the importance 
of honoring him in all our decisions. We will also know the necessity of 
walking with him in a deeper way with each passing year. Then our ac- 
tions will line up with our desires, and we will do what most pleases the 
Lord, no matter how difficult it may appear. 

With that challenge in mind, the words of the Psalmist in Psalm 9:10 take 
on added meaning. "'And those who know your name will put their trust 
in you; for vou, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you." This New 
Year challenge compels us to set ministry goals and objectives which are 
centered in knowing, seeking, and trusting the Lord in new ways, while 
being faithful to the Biblical directives of our heritage. If we purpose, 
personally and corporately, to trust the Lord who will not forsake us, 1 
believe the Lord will lead us into a much deeper and more exhilarating 
walk with himself! I believe the result will be a people and a church that 
are transformed! I believe the challenges we encounter and the objectives 
we undertake will further God's kingdom and glorify his name! 

The hymn writer expressed it well in these words: "Another year of 
progress. Another year of praise. Another year of proving Thy presence 
all the days" (Frances Havcrgal, Another Year Is Dawning). May the New 
Year find you a "better person" as you confidently trust the Lord who never 
forsakes you. You arc part of something great — wherever you live — be- 
cause God is at work all over this world, fulfilling his eternal plan. IMay we 
as Advent Christian people say boldly, "Lord, help me trust you more!"'ij= 



(continued from page 1 6) 

one stood for the whole service. When Charles and 
I visited Taize, in France, we sat on the floor along 
with hundreds of others. In South America we at- 
tended a service where people prayed with hands 
raised. I had been seated with a row of nuns. Those 
friendly young nuns, on my right and left, helped me 
to remember to raise my hands. It was a strange ex- 
perience for me and a strange posture for prayer; but 
I prayed as they did to God, our Father, in the name 
of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 

The Bible records in many places the times when 
people prayed in bed with their face to the wall. 
These were crisis times, and God really spoke to the 
ones who prayed. In the dark of the night, in the si- 
lence of the late hours, how many of us have turned 
desperately to God and felt his presence! Those "fac- 
ing the wall" prayers are sometimes prayed in other 
positions. How many of us have prayed when driving 
a car with eyes open, or lying face up in a hospital 
bed, connected to a lot of tubes! 



Our Lord Jesus Christ said," God is a spirit and they 
that worship him must worship him in spirit and in 
truth." So Christ really has answered the question 
we sometimes ask ourselves, "Is one prayer position 
best?" The answer of course, is "Yes. It is \\\q posi- 
tion of the heart that counts as we call out to God our 
father. It is in our spirit that we must go to him, in 
the name of his son who is truth." 

How careful we need to be when we judge others 
in this matter! God alone sees the heart. Our Lord 
Jesus Christ knows his own. God's Holy Spirit hears 
and helps those who want to pray effectively. How 
thoughtless we sometimes are as we hurriedly say 
grace at the table, or join carelessly with the others in 
a familiar prayer! In our spirits we need to be pros- 
trated before an awe-inspiring God. In our spirits we 
need to be on our knees whether standing, sitting, 
driving, or with our faces to the wall. LORD, HELP 
US TO PRAY AS YOU WANT US TO PRAY! 



An/ImnMUyn/from/]/{)e^1l(M 

Hyymiolo^ Tour, 2005 




At the request of friends, I have developed a 10-day itinerary of some of 
my favorite places, and I invite you to join me for a hymnology tour from 
September 30 - October 9, 2005. For several days we will see the sights in 
London and then travel about the countryside visiting Salisbury, Wells, Bris- 
tol, Wales, Oxford, Olney, Bedford, Cambridge, and Boston (UK). We will 
visit chapels where John Wesley preached, see an organ used by his brother 
Charles, stand at the grave of Isaac Watts, and view the cleft of a rock which 
inspired Augustus Toplady to write Rock of Ages. 

Imagine visiting the home of William Cowper, entering the church where 
John Newton preached, and going to Bedford to visit sites related to John 
Bunyan. We will visit George Mueller's orphanage and see many other 
places important in the history of the church. Another highlight will be 
Sunday morning worship at All Soul's Church in London - where John Stott 
pastored for many years. 

For details of the trip, including the detailed daily itinerary and financial 
information, you can visit the BICS website (www.berkshireinstitute.org) 
and click on 2005 UK Hymnology Tour or write me to receive a copy of the 
tour itinerary by mail. I can take 18 others with me so I hope to hear from 
you soon. 



Wes Ross c/o BICS 
POBox 1888 
Lenox, MA 01240 



Tel. 413-637-4673 



25 



Fill in the crossword puzzle with the underlined words from James 5:13-16 (NIV). 



"Is any one of you in trouble ? He should pray . Is 
anyone happy ? Let him sing songs of praise . Is any 
one of you sick? He should call the elders of the 
church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in 
the name of the Lord . And the prayer offered in faith 
will make the sick person well ; the Lord will raise 
him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven . There- 
fore confess your sins to each other and pray for 
each other so that you may be healed . The prayer of 
a righteous man is powerfu l and effective ." 



1 


MM 




1 1 1 


1 


MM 








MM 




1 


1 


1 1 






: c XI 








1 1 



Code: A B D 


C0Q6 Replace the numbers with the correct letters. Philippians 4:6 


E G H I K N 


OPQRSTUVWXY 


1 2 3 


4 5 6 7 8 9 


10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 


3 10 9 10 15 2 


4 1 9 19 7 10 16 14 


1 2 10 16 15 1 9 20 15 6 7 9 5 


2 16 15 7 9 4 


17 413 20 15 6 7 9 5 


2 20 11 13 1 20 4 13 19 3 


11 4 15 7 15 7 10 


9 18 7 15 6 15 6 


1 98 14 5 7 17 79 5 


11 13 4 14 4 9 15 


20 10 16 13 13 4 12 U 


4 14 15 14 15 10 5 10 3 


Each word on the left will make another word when the letters are rearranged. Use the 


clues in the right column to help you. When you have found the new word, enter the first 


letter of the new word in the space that correspond to it's clue. One has been done for you. 


spool 




JHl. rabbits 


leapt 




2. bundles of paper 


there 




3. circles 


drays 




4. appliance used to cook 


greet 




5. one more than two 


share 


hares 


6. a fold in pants or skirt 


dared 




7. smells or fragrances 


doors 




_8. skilled 


mares 




9. cattle bird 


votes 
taped 




_10. fear 

11. measurements of three feet 




ii 


# 




5 1 


9 3 7 2 10 4 


6 2 8 11 9 2 


spjoA: -J I poajp Of la.iSci -^ iddpv g sjopo •/ wdid g 


dduqi -g dAOfs -p sdoo/ ■£ sutvdu 7 sduvq 7 :sAd^^suy 




Except ye become (■■(■ (iffff- cdiffil f-O, ye shaH 
enter into the kingdom of heaven." 




0i 



Hdp the bo7 find 
"the answet" to 



hisptayer 



■fffflll iMS\mBl 



ss--^ 



Because Daniel prayed, God protected 

him from what? Daniel6:22 



30 




«1 



New Coordinator of 
Women's Ministries, 




The year was 1964, the 
month was November, the 
event was my personal 
entrance into God's family, and it 
happened at the parsonage of the 
First Advent Christian Church in 
Gadsden, Alabama. Accompa- 
nied by my dad and sitting upon 
my pastor's lap, we talked of the 
basics of the death of Jesus for my 
sins, of my confession and belief 
1 was only eight years old, so the 
conversation was very simple as 
well as the prayer that followed, 
but it was all that was needed for 
the angels to begin rejoicing over 
just one. 

Being raised in a Christian home 
and connected with a loving body 



of believers made this seem like 
a very natural step, and saying 
"yes" that afternoon was a re- 
sponse leading to an adventure 
continuing forty years. At age 
eight, 1 surely did not understand 
all that was ahead, but thankfully, 
that is not a requirement for salva- 
tion and discipleship. I remember 
feeling very satisfied, and life for 
a normal eight-year-old proceeded 
on with little change, except for 
an inner peace resulting from my 
decision of obedience to follow 
Christ. 

That first "yes" was just the be- 
ginning of many to follow, which 
have included attending Berkshire 
Christian College (1974-78) to 



prepare for ministry, accepting a 
position at the Henryville, Indi- 
ana A.C. Church as a second staff 
person (1978-1981), responding 
positively to a proposal of mar- 
riage from Rob Buchanan in 1981, 
and working side-by-side with 
Rob in several fields of location 
in both youth, music and senior 
pastorate capacities: United A.C. 
Church in Wilmington, North 
Carolina (1981-86); Mechanics- 
ville A.C. Church in Richmond, 
Virginia (1987-90); Clovis A.C. 
Church in Clovis, New Mexico 
(1990-93); and in our present loca- 
tion of Princeton A.C. Church in 
Princeton, West Virginia. Rob and 
I have been blessed with two chil- 
dren who are presently both fresh- 



28 



man: one in college, the other in 
high school; one male, the other 
female; one melancholy temper- 
ament, the other sanguine. . .You 
get the picture. (Also an adven- 
ture, but that is another story for 
another time.) 

Each "yes" through the years 
has been accompanied by a 
peace that comes from obedi- 
ence and the knowledge that our 
Lord walks beyond the "yes" 
with us. 2 Corinthians 3:5, 
which is such a comfort, reads, 
"Not that we are adequate in 
ourselves to consider anything 
as coming from ourselves, but 
our adequacy is from God." Re- 
flecting on forty years of God's 
faithfulness gives me confidence 



to say "yes" to the position of 
Women's Ministry Coordina- 
tor for our denomination. I have 
a lifelong connection with this 
denomination, and I have grown 
to love its people and doctrine. 
It has been my delight through 
the years to be involved in 
WHFMS, Ladies Bible Studies, 
Women's Retreats, etc., and 1 am 
very grateful for all the years 
of mentoring and discipling 
this denomination has person- 
ally offered. 1 do not know 
what lies ahead, but 1 desire to 
be obedient to God's call and 
will excitedly walk through this 
open door. My prayer is that the 
Lord's vision will be clear, and 
that he will always find us faith- 
ful to respond. 'fr 



Each "yes" in 
Pam's life as a 
Christian has 
been accompa- 
nied by a peace 
that comes 
from obedience 
to God. 



Pam Buchanan, Coordinator of Women 's Ministries, in her office at 
General Conference in Charlotte, N. C. 




29 




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Years ago, a friend gave me a pad of paper 
in which each page was titled, "Get It Done 
Today." This method of organizing my days 
quickly became a habit, and twenty years later, I am 
still reproducing this idea. I am never far from my 
"To Do List." 1 love keeping a list because I seem 
to accomplish more tasks during any one given day, 
and I have even been known to add a "done" task 
to the list afterwards just for the joy of crossing it 
off. There are many positives in keeping a list, such 
as remembering appointments for myself and other 
family members, jogging my memory on long-term 
commitments, and remembering even simple house- 
hold chores, such as which day the trash is picked 
up. But through the years I have discovered this list 

30 




can be all-consuming at times. If one is not careful, 
it begins to "take over" since the list is never done. 

This brings me to the subject of prayer. When a per- 
son operates on "a list," sometimes the "sweet hour 
of prayer" can be a battle and reduced to minutes 
at best. I believe that our Father loves hearing from 
us anytime, and we are commanded to "pray with- 
out ceasing" (1 Thess. 5:17). Through the years, I 
have become very accustomed to "arrow" praying, 
shooting up prayers throughout the day in bits and 
pieces of conversation. But I also believe that our 
enemy, Satan, knows the power of our earnest, more 
extended times before our Father's throne and is in 
the business of doing all he can to keep us "in the 



Prayer needs to be at 
the top of the Hst and 
never marked off. 



kitchen," busy and often bothered rather than "sitting 
at his feet" in worship. There is a time and a place 
for both, and as Christians we need to find the "bal- 
ance." The word tells us to "make the most of every 
opportunity for the days are evil" (Eph. 5:16), and 
"whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your 
might" (Eccl. 9:10). But the word also tells us to "Be 
still and know that he is God" (Ps. 46:10), and "Enter 
into your closet and shut the door" (Matt. 6:6). Find- 
ing the "balance" is a life goal, and because I am a 
"doer" by nature, 
the "work in the 
kitchen" comes 
much more natu- 
ral than "sitting at 
his feet." How- 
ever, the Lord 
continues to teach 
and speak, and 
such was a day 
last fall I will never 
forget. 

My teenage daughter was having a difficult week 
in school with a particular group assignment from 
a substitute teacher. In essence, the problem was in 
understanding the details, for no one in the group 
seemed to know for sure when it was due, how long 
it needed to be, whether it needed to be typed or not, 
etc. This was frustrating for some of the parents, so I 
volunteered to call the school and try to "clarify" the 
assignment. In doing so, I made matters worse be- 
cause the substitute teacher felt threatened in her po- 
sition and proceeded to single my daughter out (poor 
child, she was not even aware that I had called). By 
the end of the week, every student had a note sent 
home for parents to sign stating the nature of the 
assignment (at least we finally knew), and that the 
students had been sufficiently informed. My daugh- 
ter brought her paper home, we discussed it, and she 
promptly asked for my signature. I was happy to give 
it, hoping that would put an end to the incident. 

The next day was Friday, and "my list" alerted me to 
the fact that I had a precious free hour in the morn- 
ing. I decided I would spend that time in prayer for 
my daughter, other burdens on my heart, and some 



extended time in worship and the word. Before I 
sat down, I was reminded of all the "other things" 
that could be accomplished (and marked off) if I just 
"kept going." When I smiled and said, "No thank 
you, Mr. Enemy," I felt a little victory and proceeded 
to the living room recliner. Just as I was about to sit 
down, I was prompted by another thought, "As soon 
as I sit down and began to worship, the phone is sure 
to ring." So I felt Victory #2 when I removed the 
receiver. The enemy has ways of interrupting us if 

he is unsuccessful 
at distracting us. 
I was feeling very 
encouraged as I 
began to pray, and 
it was a delightful 
hour, very needed, 
with many benefits 
that continued all 
day long. When I 
finished and placed 
the phone back on 
the hook, it was not long before I heard the ring. It 
was my husband from the office telling me the prin- 
cipal at the school had tried to call. Since he received 
a busy signal at home, he called my husband and left 
a message. . .something about my daughter needing 
a signed paper she had left at home. At that moment, 
I imagined the enemy's taunting, "See? You took 
the phone off the hook, and your daughter needed 
you. Now don't you feel mega-guilty? That was not 
a wise thing to do," etc., etc. Just as I was beginning 
to react exactly how Satan would desire, I became 
aware of a still, small whisper deep within my spirit, 
"Your daughter needed you sitting in that recliner 
talking to me more than she needed that signed 
paper at school." At that moment, the light bulb went 
on, and the turmoil within ceased. I knew it to be 
the truth, and Victory #3 was mine. By the way, I 
was able to make it to school with her signed paper 
before the class period ended, and all was well. 

I learned so much that day. I will continue to oper- 
ate with a "list" because it keeps me "on task," but I 
have come to realize that time spent in prayer, long or 
short, is the most important "doing" of all. Prayer needs 
to be at the top of the list and never marked off I}" 



31 




7^0694, ex^. 251 



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What -vJ 
we've learned 

So FAR 



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LUCINDA SECREST McDOWELL 



$10.99 



Periodicals Postage Paid #007-740 

1-5-2 

00004343 12/2005 

UNG Chaoe! Hi!! Library 

Serials Dept 

CR# 3938 Davis Librarv 

Chapel Hill NC 27514 



Price 
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l„l.ll.,.l.l.l....li.l..l... 



Advent Christian 



March/April 2005 




:,:-4 



am going 

'there to prepare 

a place for you 



Witness 



Volume 53, Issue 2 

www.adventchristian.org 

1-800-676-0694 

Editor 
Keith Wheaton 

Assistant Editor 
Jan Thomas 

Proofreader 
Kathy Wheaton 

Women s Ministiy Editor 
Pam Buchanan 



Advent Christian 
General Conference 



Julia Brock Missions Secretary 

WorldMissions@ittdventchristian.org 
Nancy Brooks Exec. Director Secretary 

ExecDirect@adventchristian. org 
Pam Buchanan Women's ministries coordinator 

Womensministries@adventchristian.org 
Shirley Efird Bookkeeper 

Trena Efird Missions Secretary 

WorldMissions@adventchristian.org 
Helen Hagler Printer/Mailroom 

Amy Johnson Bookkeeper 

DonnaMartin Printer/Mailroom 

Harold Patterson World Missions Director 

WorldMissions@adventchristian.org 
Tina Pressley Venture Bookstore 

Venture@adventchristian. org 
Mary Ritchie Church Relations Secretary 

MaryRitchie@adventchristian.org 
John Roller Urban/Ethnic & Resource Center 

JRoller@adventcltristian. org 
Dawn Russell Venture Bookstore 

Venture@adventchristian. org 
Richard Russell Church Relations Director 

ChurchRelations@adventchristian.org 
Dawn Rutan Information Services 

DRutan@adventchristian.org 
Jim Smith Finance/Services 

Services@adventchristian. org 
Jan Thomas Assistant Editor 

.Jan Thomas@acgc. us 
Ron Thomas Executive Director 

ExecDirect@jadventchristian.org 

Keith D. Wheaton Director of Publications 

Keith@jacgc.us 



International Missionaries 



Area Directors: 
Scott Dombrosky — Latin 
America/Short-Term Missions 
sdombrosk}'@comcast. net 
John Gilbert — Team Leader 
john(aj,99phis 1 . org 
Frank Jewett — Europe/Africa 
frewett@megalink. net 
John Roller — Urban/Ethnic 
jroller@adventchnstian.org 
Clio Thomas — Asia/Pacific 
cliowestva@msn. com 
Honduras 

David Vignali (5/10) 
c/o Teen Missions 
Apartado Postal 4094 
San Pedro Sula 
HONDURAS 
dcvignaU(q),acgc. us 
Liberia 

Abraham David 
Advent Christian Church 
RO. Box 4669 
Monrovia, LIBERIA 
advent_christian@yahoo.com 

Malaysia 

Victor and Nesamony 

Devadason, 

Beaulah Margreat Devasa- 

hayam 

No. 24 Jalan Pandan 12 

Taman Dato Honnat 42500 

Teluk Panglima Garang 

K. Langat, Selangor 

MALAYSIA 

acbcmalaysia@yahoo. com 

James and Mercy Devadas- 
son 

20 Jalan Intan 4 

Taman Intan 

86000 Kluang, Johor 

MALAYSIA 

ad\'entchristian@ hotmail. 

com 

Ruth Devairakkam 

36 Jalan 14/2 
Taman Sri Kluang 
86000 Kluang, Johor 
MALAYSIA 
ruthad\'ent@yahoo. com 



Philippines 

Jeff and Penny Vann 

(7/14 & 5/12; Elizabeth, 
10/24; Connie, 3/29; 
Naomi, 10/11) 
P.O. Box 223 
9000 Cagayan de Oro 
Philippines 
Jeffvann@ acgc. us 
pennyvann@acgc. us 

Grant Aldridge (7/27) 

P.O. Box 223 

9000 Cagayan de Oro 

Philippines 

aldridge@home.philcom.ph 



National Missionaries 

Memphis 

Francis and Lyne Ssebi- 

kindu 

2175Carrollwood 
Cordova, TN 38018 
fssebikindu@ worldnet. 
att.net 

Mexico 

Juan "Martin" and Flor 

Camacho Valdez 

c/o Miguel Mena 
RO. Box 1720 
Tecate, CA91980 

Leon Medida Maldonado 

c/o Miguel Mena 
RO. Box 1720 
Tecate, CA 9 1980 

Samuel and Eva Avalos- 
Madrigal 

c/o Miguel Mena 
RO. Box 1720 
Tecate, CA 9 1980 

Miguel and Maria Mena 

RO. Box 1720 
Tecate, CA 9 1980 

Croatia 
Desire Ahola 

RO. Box 29 
Nova Gradiska 
35400 CROATIA 
a_c_c_euroconference 
@hotmail.com 



India 

Earl and Martha Wright 

(4/16 & 10/17) 
RO. Box 3164 
Guindy Chennai 600 032 
wright@md3.vsnl. net. in 

Ernie Schache (1/29) 

1 6 Coventry Way 
Torbay, North Shore City 
Auckland 1311 
New Zealand 
wschache@xtra. co. nz 



Ghana 
Simon Bissah 

A.C.C. 

RO. Box 604 

Nsawam, Eastern Region 

Ghana 

simbissah@yahoo.com 

Kenya 
Simeon Rianga 

P.O. Box 68 
Nyamarambe-Kisii, Kenya 

New Zealand 
David Burge 

12 Bettina Place 

Manurewa 

Auckland, NEW ZEALAND 

dburge@slingshot. co. nz 

South Africa 
Nathan Fernando 

14 Dick Muller Drive 
NorkemPark 1620 
S. AFRICA 2028 
nathankf@excite. com 

India 

Jeeva Kiruban 

Box 3 164 

Guindy, Chennai 600 032 

China 

All correspondence should 
be channeled through the 
missions office. 



.4itvciil ChiiMiwi Wiim'.t.s (ISSN #0741-4302) is published bimonthly by the Advent Christian General Conference of 
America, 1 460 1 Albeinarlc Rd., P.O. Box 23 1 52, Charlotte, NC 28227. Subscription rates in the United States and Canada: 
One year $15.00. Single copy $2.75. Overseas rate, one year $18.00. Periodicals postage paid at Charlotte, NC. and ad- 
ditional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Advent Christian Witness, P.O. Box 23152, Charlotte, 
NC 28227. Printed in Canada. 

As the official publication of the Advent Christian General Conference, the AJveiit Christian Witness publishes the 
teachings of the Advent Christian Church and promotes the task of disciple-making both in North America and around the 
world. The views expressed in this magazine are those of the author and inay not necessarily reflect those of the editor or 
the Advent Christian General Conference. Member: Evangelical Press Association. Copyright C) 2005. 



Guest Editorial 



Contents 




By Rev. Joe Pritchett 

After thirty years of being a Christian, roughly 20 years 
of that spent in professional ministry, I have learned a 
number of things about evangelism. Now 1 don't claim to 
be an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I have 
expended a great deal of time and energy in the study 
and practice of sharing my faith in Christ with others. 

My background with this most essential Christian re- 
sponsibility includes a full-fledged Bible college course. 
I have also studied (and attempted to use!): Evangelism 
Explosion, the Four Spiritual Laws, the Roman Road and 
various degrees of Sonlife training. At one point, several 
friends and I committed over 60 key verses to memory to 
share in presenting the gospel. But in all of this, perhaps 
the most practical lesson I learned about evangelism was 
from a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman. 

My wife, Robin, and I were living in a rental house and 
were in the process of looking for our own home. One 
late afternoon just before Christmas, a young lady came 
to our door asking if she might come in and demonstrate 
her impressive, nationally known, vacuum cleaner. As 
Robin was about to send her away, it was apparent that 
she had no vehicle and it was quite cold. The young lady 
remarked that she had been dropped off, but her ride 
would be back soon. Even if we did not want to purchase 
the vacuum, she would get $5 from her employer just for 
getting inside our door, and she really needed the money 
for her children here at Christmas. My wife looked back 
over her shoulder to see that the "Ebenezer Scrooge 
meets the Grinch" expression on my face had melted a 
bit, so she allowed the saleslady to enter. 

(Continued on page 30) 



My Father's House 4 

Dr. John Roller 

Our History: William Miller and the 
Early Phases of the Advent 
Movement Part 2 10 

Rev. Orin Roe Jenks 

Staying Sharp 16 

Rev. John Gallagher 

Bike 4 Christ 18 

Jody Crimi 

This Side of the Empty Tomb 22 

Rev. Clayton Blackstone 

Aging Gracefully 24 

Miriam Snow Priebe 



A Word From Our President 25 

Rev. Glenn Rice 

As Children 26 

Dawn Russell 

Therefore... keep watching 28 

Pam Buchanan 



% My Fat 



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By Dr. John H. Roller 



f "What kind of house did you grow up in?" 



ill 



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i 



I've asked that question of many of my Advent 
Christian friends. Not counting the ones who 
joined the Advent Christian Church later in 
Hfe (though, indeed, many of those gave the same 
answer), nearly all of the bom-and-raised Advent 
Christians that I've talked to gave the same answer! 
It was a single-family house. Coming in the front 
door, you would enter a front room where casual 
visiting might take place. Further in, there would be 
a kitchen, a dining room, a large living room, two or 
three (or maybe even four or five) bedrooms, 
perhaps a den, one or two (or maybe several) 
bathrooms, a garage for parking the car, and 
an attic (or basement) for storing stuff. This 
house would comprise about 1,000 to 3,000 
square feet (depending on the family's income 
level) and sit on a property between % of an 
acre and a few acres (or more) of land. It 



would be occupied by the person I was talking to, 
their brother(s) and sister(s) — if they had any — and 
their parents, possibly also a grandparent or two, 
maybe even one or two other relatives or non-rela- 
tives. 

On either side of the house, and up and down the 
street, there would be other similar houses sitting 
on similar-sized properties and occupied by similar 
families. In over 95% of the cases, this neighbor- 
hood would be located in a suburban community, in 
a small town (demographers define that as a com- 
munity with fewer than 25,000 residents), or in a 
rural area. For those Advent Christians who grew up 
in farming families — and there are thousands of you 
out there! — such a house is now referred to as "the 
old home place." Some of you still live there. My 
story is quite different. You see, I'm a city kid. 

Advent Christian Witness, March/April, 2005 5 




were amont 



From the time I was bom 
until a few weeks before 
my thirteenth birthday I 
Hved in a series of apartment 
buildings. The one I remem- 
ber best was built during 
\ the year I was in kinder- 
garten. When I first saw it, 
it was a very large hole in 
the ground, surrounded by 
a construction fence. 
Gradually, it grew to 
a height of six stories 
(about 120 feet), then it 
opened to occupants, and we 
the first families to move in. 



Our apartment (called 1 P) was on the ground floor. You enter 
the building either by having a key or by pressing a buzzer with 
the apartment number you want to visit, conversing briefly 
with the people in the apartment, then waiting for them to press 
a button that will unlock the door for a few seconds (or you 
can cheat, and just wait for someone to exit the building, then 
grab the door from them before it closes). You walk up the 
hall, passing several other apartments, till you come to 1 P. You 
can then enter our apartment just as anyone else might enter a 
single-family house. 

Once inside, there was a small foyer area, a large living room, 
one bedroom, a kitchen, a bathroom, and a small room my 
father used as his study (it was really not much bigger than 
a walk-in closet). The total area of this apartment was about 
500 square feet. It was "the old home place" to me, my sister, 
my parents, and (later) my baby brother. There were nineteen 
other nearly identical apartments on the floor we lived on, and 
twenty more on each of the five floors above us (my sister's 
best friend, Marcy Berman, lived directly above us, five stories 
up, in 6P, which was exactly identical to IP). 

One hundred and twenty families — about 500 people in 
all — lived in this building, which occupied less than a single 
acre of land, located at 142-30 Sanford Avenue, next door 
to the First Baptist Church. Within a one-mile radius of this 
home there were over 100 similar buildings (and, yes, even 
a few single-family houses scattered among them). Together, 
the people living in them made up the community of Flushing, 
with a population (then, as now) of about 70,000. Flushing was 
one of about two dozen such communities that comprised the 
Borough of Queens, the largest and most heavily populated of 
the five boroughs that constituted New York City. At the time. 
New York was the biggest city in the world, with a population 
of nearly eight million — not counting another twelve million 
who lived in its suburbs in a three-state metropolitan area. My 
"home town." 



In John 14:2, Jesus told his disciples, "In my Father's house 
are many mansions." Did it ever occur to you to ask, "How can 
there be 'mansions' inside a 'house'?" It's just possible that my 
experiences as a child might help you get an idea of what Jesus 
might have meant. 

I realize, of course, that most modem versions translate his 
statement as, "In my Father's house are many rooms" (rather 
than "mansions ") — precisely, I think, because the translators 
aren't seeing my Father's "house" the way I do! 

The Greek word "monai" literally means "dwelling places." 
Are you looking forward to an eternal "dwelling place" that 
can be called only a "room?" Not I! I'd rather have an old-fash- 
ioned "mansion!" And I think there's a way that I can. 

I see my Father's "house" as a single, gigantic apartment 
building. Like the one I was raised in, it has many stories, or 
floors. On each floor there are many similar-sized, similar- 
shaped apartments. There are, of course, hallways to walk in, 
to get from one apartment to another. There is a front entrance 
that you can only get through by "buzzing" the person you've 
come to see — in this case, my Father. Some people refer to the 
entrance as "the Pearly Gate(s)." 



The picture, of course, is drawn from Revelation 21:10- 
16, where the Apostle John reports seeing a vision of 
"that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of 
heaven from God... And the city lieth foursquare, and 
the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the 
city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length 
and the breadth and the height of it are equal." 

The length and the breadth and the height] The "city" 
is in the shape of a cube, twelve thousand fiirlongs east- 
to-west, twelve thousand furlongs north-to-south, and 
twelve thousand furlongs from the bottom of the ground 
floor to the roof. About the same shape as my "home" at 
142-30 Sanford Avenue, in Flushing. But what about its 
size? 

The Greek word translated "furlong" is "stadion" (in 
the singular); "stadia" (in the plural). Twelve thousand 
stadia in length, twelve thousand stadia in breadth, and 
twelve thousand stadia in height. Suppose each "story" 
consisted of a number of apartments, rectangular in 
shape, two stadia in length, three stadia in breadth, and 
one stadion from floor to ceiling. Six square stadia of 
floor space, six cubic stadia of total volume. Suppose, 
further, that the apartments themselves only took up Vi 
of the total volume of the building — the other half being 
occupied by hallways, stairways, elevators, insulation, 
and room for wiring, plumbing, etc. How many stories 
would the building have? How many apartments on 
each floor? How many people could live in a building 
that size? 




I 



12,000 X 12,000 X 12,000 = 1,728,000,000,000 cubic stadia of 
total volume. 

Vi X 1,728,000,000,000 = 864,000,000,000 cubic stadia occu- 
pied by apartments. 

1/6 X 864,000,000,000 = 144,000,000,000 apartments. 
More than enough for every human being who has ever lived to 
have his or her own apartment! 

Please note: I'm not saying that every human being who has 
ever lived is going to be saved. Jesus said, "wide is the gate, 
and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many 
there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and nar- 
row is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that 
find it" (Matthew 7: 13-14). What I'm saying is that there could 
be enough apartments in the holy Jerusalem for every person 
who has ever lived to have his or her own apartment if s/he 
were willing to receive it. 

It's a "secure" building, like the one 1 grew up in. in New York, 
with one difference: you can't cheat and get in by grabbing 
the door when someone else leaves. It doesn't work that way. 



JESUS is the Door (John 10:7) and you can only get in if he 
lets you in (John 14:6). 

But where do the "mansions" come in? 

The answer to that is found in the definition of a stadion. Ac- 
cording to Thayer s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testa- 
ment, by Dr. Joseph Henry Thayer (published by Associated 
Publishers and Authors, Inc., of Grand Rapids, Michigan, on 
April 10, 1889) a stadion is "a measure of length compris- 
ing 600 Greek feet, or 625 Roman feet, or 125 Roman paces, 
hence 1/8 of a Roman mile [i.e. 606.75 English feet (about 195 
meters)]." 

My "apartment" has a floor space of 2,208,873 square feet, and 
a ceiling height of 606 feet and 9 inches! So does yours. That 
is FAR BIGGER than the Bill & Melinda Gates "mansion" 
in Seattle, Washington — the largest "single-family" home in 
America! 

Suddenly, the question isn't, "Is there room enough for every 






/// -r 



i 




person who has ever been saved to have a 'mansion' in our 
Father's house?" It is, "What am I going to do with all that 
space?!" The entire apartment building I grew up in could 
easily be placed in one comer of my eternal apartment; its roof 
would only reach 1/5 of the way to the ceiling of the apartment, 
and it would only consume about 1% of the apartment's floor 
space. You would hardly notice it was there unless you were 
looking for it. 

Revelation 22:2 informs us that "the tree of life" grows in the 
city, yielding "twelve manner of fruits" year round. There's 
enough room in my apartment for an entire acre of fruit trees 
(an acre is only 43,560 square feet; I've got about 50 acres of 
floor space to fill). Hey, the ceiling is high enough that I could 
fill a box 200 feet deep with California soil and grow redwood 
trees in it (they only grow to a height of 350 feet and don't 
require half that depth of soil; there would still be 50 feet of air 
space above the tops of the trees for my pet eagles to soar in). 

Revelation 22:2 also mentions a river. Most rivers aren't more 
than one or two hundred feet wide. That river could run right 
through the middle of my apartment and it would use up less 
than ten percent of the total floor space! Ezekiel 47:9-10, de- 
scribing the very same place, refers to "a very great multitude 
offish" and "a place to spread forth nets" (the kind that are 



used for catching fish to be eaten.) I know people with resur- 
rected, immortal bodies can eat fish, because that's what Jesus 
ate after he rose (Luke 24:42-43 and John 21:9ff.). There are 
also numerous references to bread, and wine, and other dietary 
staples in the passages that describe my Father's house. 1 can 
believe that every kind of food that exists will be available 
there, because Jesus "declared all foods clean" according to 
Mark 7:19 (NIV) and Acts 10:9-16 (see, especially, verse 15). 

Growing up in Flushing, it was difficult to play much of 
anything in the apartment, except checkers and Monopoly. If I 
tried to play catch with my sister, I'd probably break something 
and be punished. We could, of course, go outdoors if the weath- 
er were nice. We were fortunate enough to live right across the 
street from Public School #20 (where we spent many dreary 
days studying reading, writing, math, and social studies). I say 
"fortunate" because RS. 20 also had a great big playground! 
There were sandboxes for the littlest kids, swing sets and 
jungle gyms for the slightly larger ones, even two handball 
courts where a game similar to racquetball (or "squash") could 
be played by those high enough in the grade-school pecking or- 
der to qualify (the rest of us could play handball on rainy days 
if we didn't mind getting wet). It also had a full-sized baseball 
diamond complete with bleacher seats and a backstop! And, 
of course, the ubiquitous half-courts for the basketball games 





4 
PI 



V A 



4 







that were the favorite of the taller kids. Football is a "country" 
sport not particularly favored in the Borough of Queens. But 
there's enough room in my Father's house for each and every 
apartment to have its own full-sized football stadium: it would 
only consume about 20% of the floor space that remains after 
putting in the mansion, the tree-of-life orchard, the redwood 
"forest", the river, the bakery, the vineyard, the sandboxes, the 
swing sets, the jungle gyms, the handball courts, the baseball 
diamond, and the full-sized basketball courts. We still haven't 
accounted for more than three of the six square stadia of floor 
space in this single-person apartment. 

I don't know what you would do with all of your 50 acres. 
Maybe you want a single-story farmhouse with a barnyard, 
a chicken coop, a pond, and forty acres of "fruited plain." 
There's certainly enough room for that. Maybe you don't like 
the idea of living alone, and would prefer that eight or ten of 
your closest friends and relatives could "pool" their apartment 
space and create a "mansion" with almost an entire square mile 
of floor space. That would work. 1 can't imagine my Father's 
house being so structured and stereotyped that every apartment 
is the same size and shape, the way Marcy's (6P) was the same 
as ours (IP). He's a God of infinite diversity and variety! So 
yours won't be the same as mine but, whatever it is, it'll be big 
enough and good enough. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard. 



neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which 
God hath prepared for them that love him" (1 Corinthians 2:9). 

There's only one point that brings me sadness as I contemplate 
what the Bible teaches me about eternity. It's the stunning fact 
that most of the 144,000,000,000 "mansions" that there could 
be, would be uninhabited. Billy Graham (who should know as 
much about this subject as anyone now living does) estimates 
that only ten percent of the people who have ever lived have 
responded in faith to Jesus' offer of salvation and eternal life. 
Thinking about what the future holds for me — undeserving as 
I am — makes me wonder how any one of them could possibly 
reject such an offer. Is human nature so ruined, so sinful, that 
most people purposely choose a few years of "the pleasures of 
sin" (Hebrews 1 1 :25) rather than "signing a lease" for eternity 
in my Father's house? 

Or could it simply be that no one has told them what's avail- 
able? And whose job would that be? 'fr 

Dr. John Roller sei-\>es as director of urban and 
ethnic ministries and is coordinator of resources 
at Advent Christian General Conference. 



Our History 

William Miller 

and the Early Phases of the 

Advent Movement 

PART 2 



Address delivered at the biennial meeting of the 

Advent Christian General Conference^ 

June 26y 1932^ Campground^ Plainville^ Connecticut 






by Orrin Roe Jenks 



1 Advent Christian Witness, March/April, 2005 



Period from 1839-1844 

In the year 1839, upon invitation of Baptist churches 
in Massachusetts, Mr. Miller visited that state and 
conducted meetings in Randolph, Braintree, Low- 
ell, Lynn, and other cities. In November 1839, while 
lecturing in Exeter, New Hampshire, Mr. Miller met 
Joshua V. Himes of the "Christian Connection," who 
was pastor of the Chardon Street Church in Boston. 
Mr. Himes secured Mr. Miller to deliver lectures in 
the church, which he did December 8-16, 1839, to 
crowded houses, many being unable to gain admit- 
tance. 

This meeting of these two men. Miller and Himes, 
marks a new and important period in the life and 
work of Mr. Miller. Joshua V. Himes really became 
the publicity man for Mr. Miller. He proposed the 
use of the press. Five thousand copies of Miller's 
lectures were printed and distributed. A paper was 
started. The Signs of the Times was issued early in 
1840. This was published for about four years, and 
then continued for many years as the Advent Herald. 



This period from 1840 to 1844 was marked by great 
gatherings. A glance at a few may indicate their 
scope. 

In January 1840, Miller visited Portsmouth, New 
Hampshire, and lectured in the Christian Church. A 
revival started during the meetings and continued 
after Miller left, and this revival spread to every 
church in Portsmouth that believed in revivals. The 
report reads: 

"Our meetings continued every day and evening. 
Not infrequently from sixty to seventy would come 
forward for prayers on an evening. Such an awful 
spirit of solemnity seemed to settle down on the 
place that hard must be that sinner's heart that could 
withstand it. Yet ... not an appearance of confusion 
occurred, all was order and solemnity . . . For weeks 
together, the ringing of bells, for daily meetings, 
rendered our town like a continual Sabbath. Such 
a season of revival was never witnessed before in 
Portsmouth by the oldest inhabitant. The number of 
conversions is variously estimated at from five to 




Miller conducted 
meetings in MA 
and VT, and met 
Joshua V. Himes 

1839 




Miller conducted 
meetings in Randolph, 

Braintree, Lowell, 

Lynn and other cities 

in MA at the invitation 

of Baptist churches 

1839 




A revival spread to 

every church in 

Portsmouth, NH. 

"... the ringing of 

bells ... rendered our 

town like a 
continual Sabbath." 

1840 




In Hartford, CT, 
lectures were 
delivered for 
several days in 
the City Hall 

1840 



1839 

Daguerreotype 

camera - first direct 

positive image on 

silver plate 

f 



1840-1860 
Oregon Trail 




1840 

Sir Rowland Hill 

invented postage 

stamp 




Advent Christian Witness, March/April, 2005 



11 



seven hundred." 

At Portland, a revival followed the Miller lectures. 
Take these items from the report of the meetings: "A 
number of rum-sellers have turned their shops into 
meeting-rooms. One or two gambling establishments 
are entirely broken up. Infidels, Deists, Universal- 
ists, and the most abandoned profligates have been 
converted." 

In Hartford, Connecticut, lectures were delivered 
for several days in the City Hall, where from fifteen 
hundred to two thousand persons were in attendance 
every evening. Several hundred people became fa- 
vorable to the adventual views. 

"The Signs of the 

Times" paper 

issued 

1840 

1841 

First U.S. 

steam fire 

engine was 

tested in NYC 
1840 

End of mountain 

trapping era. 

Decline in beaver 

population made 

fur trade barely 

profitable 



John Greenleaf Whittier, attended for one service, 
and of which he wrote as follows: 

"Three or four years ago ... I spent an hour or two 
at a campground of the Second Advent in East 
Kingston. The spot was well chosen. A tall growth 
of pine and hemlock threw its melancholy shadow 
over the multitude, who were arranged upon rough 
seats of boards and logs. Several hundred — perhaps 
a thousand — people were present, and more were 
rapidly coming. Drawn about in a circle, forming a 
background of snowy whiteness to the dark masses 
of men and foliage, were the white tents, and back 
of them the provision stalls and cook shops. When 
I reached the ground, a hymn, the words of which I 



1841 

President William 

Henry Harrison 

succumbed to 

pneumonia one 

month after his 

inauguration 



1841 

Samuel Slocum 

patented the 

stapler 





■ 



Campmeetings 



In June and early July 1842, the first campmeet- 
ing connected with the movement was held in East 
Kingstone, New Hampshire, with some congrega- 
tions estimated as high as seven to ten thousand 
people. This was the meeting which the Quaker poet, 

1 2 Advent Chiislian Whiicss. March/April, 2005 



could not distinguish, was pealing through the dim 
aisles of the forest. I know nothing of music, hav- 
ing neither ear nor taste for it — but I could readily 
see that it had its effect upon the multitude before 
me, kindling to higher intensity their already excited 
enthusiasm. The preachers were placed in a rude 
pulpit of rough boards, carpeted only by the dead 
forest leaves and flowers, and tasseled, not with silk 
and velvet, but with the green boughs of the somber 
hemlocks around it. One of them followed the music 
in an earnest exhortation on the duty of preparing 
for the great event . . . 

"To an imaginative mind the scene was full of 
novel interest. The white circle of tents; the dim 



wood arches, the upturned, earnest faces; the loud 
voices of the speakers, burdened with the awful 
symbolic language of the Bible; the smoke from 
the fires rising like incense from forest altars; car- 
rying one back to the days of primitive worship 
when 

'The groves were God's first temples, ere 

men learned 

To hew the shaft, and lay the architrave, 

And stretch the roof above it.'" 



reached with the message of the nearness of the 
Advent. 

During this period Joshua V. Himes, aside from 
preaching and lecturing, started and maintained 
a numbers of papers. The Signs of the Times was 
published in Boston, The Midnight Cry in New York, 
77?^ Western Midnight Cry in Cincinnati. Towards 
the close of the period The Midnight Cry was pub- 
lished in New York as a daily. 



From this date, campmeetings became one of the 
big agencies for promulgating the message. A great 
tent was purchased and pitched by Joshua V. Himes 
in the city centers, and thus many thousands were 
reached who might not have entered the churches. 



Mr. Miller looked for the Lord not later than the 
spring of 1844. This date came and went without 



1842 

Seminole Indians 

moved to Indian 

Territory 




1842 

State of MA passed 

law tliat limited 

children under 12 

working in factories 

to 10- hour workdays 






3-.' 



From January 21-29, 1843, Mr. Miller lectured in 
Philadelphia in the large hall of the Chinese Mu- 
seum, which was crowded to such an extent that 
the owners became alarmed for the safety of the 
hall, and asked that the meetings be closed. At the 
last meeting in the afternoon, to quote the words of 
Bliss: "Probably more than a thousand persons arose 
to testify their faith in the truth of the Advent near, 
and three or four hundred of the unconverted arose 
to request an interest in his prayers." 

Thus the work went on until such cities as Albany, 
New York; Providence, Rhode Island; Worcester, 
Massachusetts; and Washington, D.C., had been 



First campmeeting 
connected with the 

movement held in NH. 
Quaker poet, John 
Greenleaf Whittier 

attended this meeting. 
1842 



1842 

Webster- 

Ashburton 

Treaty defmed 

Canadian-US 

border 



"v/^ 

.,^ 



1842 
Lt. John C. Fremont 
of the Army Topo- 
graphical Corps leads 
scientific expedition 
into Rocky Mountains, 
guided by mountain 
man, Kit Carson 




bringing the expected end. Great was the disappoint- 
ment. On the second day of May 1844, Mr. Miller 
wrote as follows: 

"To Second Advent Believers: Were 1 to live 
my life over again, with the same evidence that I 
then had, to be honest with God and man, I should 
have to do as I have done. Although opposers said 
it would not come, they produced no weighty argu- 
ments. It was evidently guess-work with them; and 

Advent Christian Witness, March/April, 2005 1 3 



I then thought, and do now, that their denial was 
based more on an unwillingness for the Lord to 
come than on any argument leading to such a con- 
clusion. 

"I confess my error, and acknowledge my disap- 
pointment; yet I still believe that the day of the Lord 
is near, even at the door; and I exhort you, my breth- 
ren, to be watchful, and not let that day come upon 
you unawares. The wicked, the proud, and the bigot 
will exuh over us. 1 will try to be patient. God will 
deliver the godly out of temptation, and will reserve 
the unjust to be punished at Christ's appearing." 



ing to the reckoning of the Caraite Jews, this day, in 
the year 1844, would fall on the twenty-second of 
October. Thus October 22, 1844, became a date of 
importance. Mr. Miller and those who sympathized 
with him did not accept this date. But gradually as 
the weeks went by, many came to favor it, and at 
the beginning of autumn its acceptance spread like 
a prairie fire until the majority of the believers set 
their hopes on this day. This is known as the "tenth 
day of the seventh month movement." On October 6, 
Mr. Miller was first led to favor that date, and on the 
eleventh day of October he published in The Signs of 
the Thnes the following: 



The summer of 1844 was spent by Miller, Himes, 
Litch, and others in preaching, chiefly to encourage 
the believers to cling to their hope of the soon-com- 
ing of the Lord. 



About the middle of the summer — the month of 
July — S. S. Snow, who had been converted from 
infidel views about four years before, began to ad 
vocate that the "tenth day 
of the seventh month," the 
Day of Atonement under 
the law of Moses, was the 
day on which the Lord 



would come. Accord- 



^^E^^:; Y 



'h 



"I think I have never seen among our brethren such 
faith as is manifested in the seventh month. 'He will 
come,' is the common expression. 'He will not tarry 
the second time,' is their general reply. There is a 
forsaking of the world, an unconcern for the wants 



1842 
Crawford W. Long 

first used 

anesthetic - ether - 

on humans in a 

minor medical 

operation 



Mr. Miller lectured in 

Philadelphia at the 

Chinese Museum. It 

was so crowded the 

owners were alarmed 

for the safety of the hall 

January 1843 



1842 

Jesse James, 

legendary outlaw, 

was born 



IS 




A comet led Miller and 

followers to proclaim 

the end of the world to 

be in 1843. 

April 1843 



O 



Miller and 
followers 
disappointed in 
the 2nd coming 
not occuring in 
1843; now look 
for coming by 
spring of 1844 

January 1844 



1843 

A Christmas 

Carol by Charles 

Dickens was 

published 



1844 
YMCA estab- 
lished in U.S. Its 
purpose was to 
substitute Bible 
study and prayer 
for life on the 
streets 




14 



Advenl Christian Witness. March/April, 2005 



of life, a general searching of heart, confession of 
sin and a deep feeling in prayer for Christ to come. 
A preparation of heart to meet him seems to be the 
labor of their agonizing spirits. There is something 
in this present waking up different from anything 
I have ever before seen . . . Our meetings are all 
occupied with prayer, and exhortation to love and 
obedience. The general expression is, 'Behold the 
Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.' Amen. 
Even so come. Lord Jesus!" 

October 22, 1844, passed without the coming of the 
Lord. The disappointment was great, more so than 
in the spring of 1844. There came then a period of 
confusion, of uncertainty, and of disorganization — a 
period which requires a special study by itself, and 
which it is not within the province of this address to 
discuss. 

Mr. Miller kept his balance, and so far as possible, 
considering the condition of his health, continued to 
preach and write, and thus help the thousands of fol- 



lowers who had accepted his views. On the tenth of 
November 1844, he wrote to Himes from his home 
in Low Hampton: 

"Dear Brother Himes: I have been waiting and look- 
ing for the blessed hope, in expectation of realizing 
the glorious things which God has spoken of Zion. 
Yes, and although I have been twice disappointed, I 
am not yet cast down or discouraged. God has been 
with me in spirit, and has comforted me. I have now 
much more evidence that I do believe in God's Word. 
My mind is perfectly calm, and my hope in the com- 
ing of Christ is as strong as ever . . . 

"Our duty now is to comfort one another with the 
words of Christ's coming, to strengthen those who 
are weak among us, to establish the wavering, and 
to raise up the bowed down, speaking often one to 
another. Let our conversation be in heaven, from 
whence we look for the Savior; for the time has not 
come for us to live by faith, a faith that is tried like 
gold seven times purified." ={}■ 




Miller wrote 

confession of 

error 

May 2, 1844 



1844 

Brigliam Young 
became leader of 
Morman Church 

after murder of 
Joseph Smith 




--7.-5— — — 
-S-Ti-S— -5-5 



S.S. Snow 

advocated 

"Day of 

Atonement," 

Oct. 22, as 

date of 

Christ's return 

July, 1844 



1844 
Charles Goodyear 
was granted patent 
for vulcanized rubber 





Miller also 
favored Oct. 22 
for 2nd coming 

Oct. 6, 1844 



1844 
Texas became a 
U.S. territory 





THE GREAT 
DISAPPOINTMENT 
Adventists gathered 
at Ascension Rock to 
await Christ's return 

Oct. 22, 1844 



1845 

First hypodermic 

syringe entered 

the market 



Advent Christian Witness, March/April, 2005 



15 



^I 



m 



UM smm (Mm 



m 



;li'.»iiiEi,s,i.' 



i 



you must draw the blade across the stone, pi 
into the edse. 



)endent. It may hang rn 



lade 1, ' "^^th crosses that are sanitized and personalize^ 

hing , The crosses we keep before us are em 

ij^ ,i», sacrifice or love. What ] 

' . cross is mostly a piece of jewelry or work of 



'^The Cross is my sharpening stone'' 

• It keeps my spiritual edge sharp 

Jesus endured physical, emotional and spiritual pain 
Jesus learned what sin was by bearing mine (and yours) 

• It was a place of death for Jesus 

Jesus submitted completely to his father 
Jesus gave up his life willingly out of love 

• It is the defining picture for my life 

Vm called to die to self 
I'm called to a life of sacrifice and suffering 
I'm called to a life of finding forgiveness and forgiving 
others 



The cross is my sharpening stone. It keeps my spiri- 
tual edge sharp. But it can't be a pretty cross. 



I know this ultimately brings victory as it did for 
Jesus). 



My salvation, forgiveness, freedom, and acceptance 
before God depend on a cross of suffering and tor- 
ture. Jesus suffered on the cross for me. He endured 
great physical, emotional, and spiritual pain. Jesus 
learned what sin was by bearing mine (and yours) on 
the cross to incur God's wrath in my place. 

The cross is my sharpening stone because the cross 
was a place of death for Jesus. On that cross he sub- 
mitted completely to his father. On that cross he gave 
up his life willingly out of love for me, for you, for 
his father. 

The cross is my sharpening stone because the cross 
is the defining picture for my life. Jesus said, "If 
anyone would come after me he must deny himself 
and take up his cross daily and follow me." Part 
of me doesn't want to go through this sharpening 
process for it calls me to the life of the cross. I'm 
called to die to self — willingly, lovingly, completely. 
I'm called to a life of sacrifice and suffering (though 



I'm called to a life of the cross. It is not pretty or 
sanitized. I'm called to a life of finding forgiveness 
through the cross and forgiving others no matter 
what they have done or the weight it places on me. 
You see, I have a cross to carry — daily. 

Galatians 2:20 defines this cross-life in these terms, 
"1 am crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but 
Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body 1 live 
by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave 
himself for me." Wow, 'T no longer live ..." 1 don't 
remember hearing that in any commercials lately! 
Staying sharp means coming again and again to the 
cross, his and mine, 'fr 



Rev. John Gallagher is pastor of the 
Ossipee Valley Bible Church (AC), 
Ossipee, N.H. 



Advent Christian Witness. March/April, 2005 1 J 




She found herself 

crossing the North American 

Continent on a 



Bike 4 



Jody Crimi 

One Sunday after church a friend handed 
my husband, Dave, a book. It was a book 
about someone's adventure biking across the 
United States. Dave and our friend, Tom, discovered 
they shared the same dream. They discussed the 
dream for a long time and, finally, last spring, started 
making serious plans because they had a window of 
opportunity to do it. More people became involved 
and a team of riders and a support crew started com- 
ing together. I would be one of a few that would pro- 
vide support along the way. The support staff would 
drive the vehicles, cook, set up and tear down camp, 
do laundry, grocery shop, and anything else that was 
needed. Since everyone would be paying his own 




By Jody Crimi 



way, we wanted to keep costs down. We planned to 
stay mostly at RV parks. Some would camp in tents 
and some would sleep in the old seventies motor 
home we would take. We also had a mini-van that 
pulled a trailer for the bikes. 

One friend suggested using the trip to raise money 
for ministries. Pretty soon the group became known 
as "Bike 4 Christ" because that's what we were 
going to do. It was our mission. We developed a 
website so people could pledge support and follow 
us across the country. We even had T-shirts made. 
Along with some other knowledgeable friends, Dave 
and Tom studied a detailed route from Adventure 
Cycling called the Southern Tier. They decided to 
make some alterations to this route but basically 
follow the 8-10 Interstate corridor across the South 
from San Diego, Calif to Jacksonville, Fla. The ride 
started on October 10th and ended on November 6th. 
The riders touched their back bike tires to the Pacific 
Ocean at the beginning and their front tires to the 
Atlantic Ocean at the end. Last year at this time I 
never dreamed one of those tires would be mine. 

Even though initially I was happy to be going along 
as part of the support crew, at some point along the 
way a desire grew within me to ride also. My biggest 



Advent Christian Witness. March/April, 2005 




They 're off! The first day a variety of riders left the beach in San Diego. 



nately, this wasn't as often as we would 
have liked because of our really busy 
schedules. We were often able to ride 
on the weekends. We rode 96 miles one 
day because we would be riding about 
100 miles a day on the trip. In the biking 
world this is known as a "century ride." 
Dave said it was sort of a test for me to 
see if 1 could ride that many miles in a 
day. 1 did it but the next day I didn't want 
to get out of bed — I was so exhausted! 
1 couldn't imagine riding like that day 
after day. 



motivation for wanting to ride was I knew it would 
grow my faith in a very significant way. I knew it 
would be impossible for me to bike across the coun- 
try so I also knew that if I ever accomplished a ride 
like that God would receive all the glory. 1 thought, 
if God helped me do that, he could help me do any- 
thing. Soon my desire became more of a calling. 1 
didn't totally understand why I was supposed to ride. 
But as things fell into place, I sensed with increasing 
excitement that God was going to do something in 

me. I 
wanted to 
experi- 



Then, a month before our departure, 1 crashed when 
we were practicing and my flesh became one with 
the pavement. It took me quite awhile to heal (not 
only physically, but also emotionally) from that fall. 
It took me a couple weeks just to get back on my 
bike. However, God allowed that accident for some 
important reasons. As his healing took place both 
on and below the surface, he was setting me free so 
that 1 would be ready for the journey ahead. When 
we started the ride at Ocean Beach in San Diego, 
I had as much peace as I have ever had. Literally, 
until I made it to Jacksonville Beach in Florida, I 
wasn't willing to boast that 1 would ride every mile. 
I knew at any moment something 
could go wrong. However, I also 
believed with all my heart that if 
God wanted me to ride every mile 




ence God take me so far beyond 
my physical, mental and emotional 
resources that all 1 could do was de- 
pend on him. This was the miracle I 
experienced. 



Kristi and Craig Libby 



In preparation, Dave and I rode together or with 
friends whenever we had the opportunity. Unfortu- 



Dave and Jody Criini 

he would enable me to do it and 1 had no fear. I 

Advent Christian Witness, March/April, 2005 



19 





knew he had a plan, I knew I was in his hands 
and that was enough for me. 

We started the trip with seven riders. Shortly 
after the first week though we dropped down 
to four riders: Dave, Tom, Craig and I were 
the four that rode all the way to Jacksonville. 
We were able to make the trip in 28 days. 
We rode an average of about 92 miles a day. 
Some days we rode well over 100 miles and 
others we rode only 80. We had one day off 
in the middle of the four weeks in Del Rio, 
Texas. This was a glorious day! 

By God's Grace, I was able to ride every mile 
across the country. We rode a total of 2,544 
miles. By the last week, I felt like I would ride 
my bike for the rest of my life. It was all I did. 
We would start riding as early in the morning 
as we could and try to make it to camp before 
the sun set. Once we got to camp, we would 
shower, eat, share some quotes for the web- 
site, make repairs or do laundry and go to bed 
exhausted. Biking became my life. 

There were many challenges and difficulties 
and many times I wanted to stop riding. I was 
continually pushed beyond what 1 could en- 
dure. God kept me going though, and through 
it I experienced much victory. Throughout 
the entire trip I had a keen sense that God 
was directing us every "pedal" of the way. 
It was amazing how he provided for us 
and worked out details. I could not have 
done it without the support of my husband 
and the rest of the team either. They were 
so patient and so encouraging. 
1 think God will be revealing 
things to me from that trip for 
years to come. I'm so thank- 
ful I was given the opportu- 
nity to do it. I grew so much. 
There are so many stories I 
could tell that I wouldn't know 
where to start or stop. Some 
of them can be found in our 
daily journal on our website: 



20 Advent Christian Witness. March/April, 2005 




www.bike4christ.com. Our whole route is 
there, too. Not only did God use this trip in 
significant ways in our individual lives, but 
we were able to raise a lot of money for 12 
different ministries. My youth group was 
one of the ministries I raised money for. 
When I'm not with teens, you might find 
me riding my bike up and down the coast.■i^ 




They made it! The four cross-countiy cyclists and their support team reach 
the Atlantic ocean. 



Bike 4 Christ raised more than $17,000. 

/linistries supported by the ride include the following: 




FallbrookA.C. Church 


500.00 


Theological Seminary of Baja, California 


500.00 


hirst A.C. Church ol Tustin, Cahtomia Youth Ministry ^^^H 




600.0U 


Camp Maranatha 


700.00 


North Park Community A.C. Church Youth Ministry 


1,500.00 


ACGC Special Computer Fund 


1,730.00 


Chatsworth Lake Community A.C. Youth Ministry 


1,900.00 


ACGC Penny Crusade 


1,950.00 


Idyllwild Community Church Mexico Fund 


2,000.00 


Lincoln Heights Tutorial Program 


2,100.00 


Mexican Medical 


2,426.00 



NOTE: An additional $380.00 was raised for miscellaneous ministries 



Advent Christian Witness. March/April, 2005 



21 




Tills SiiPe 

1, 



ef 





By Rev. Clayton Blackstone 



My friend Tom and his wife. Shelly, learned the hard way 
how to talk about eternal life with integrity. She went 
into labor on the Sunday evening before Resurrection Sunday, 
two weeks before her due date. At midnight, her OB stepped 
into the room after delivering a baby next door. As if the timing 
had been guided by Providence, the baby's monitor suddenly 
revealed no heartbeat. Blood gushed. With no time for a C-sec- 
tion, she pushed as the doctor attempted to suction the baby out 
Their infant son emerged without a heartbeat. 

The frightened mother and dad watched the care team marshal 
the latest medical technology to save the child. They prayed 
and struggled with the terror that enveloped them. Three years 
before, in the shadow of a previous Easter, I had taken them in 
my arms as we grieved the death of another child bom prema- 
turely. 

"It was quite a way to prepare for Easter," quipped Tom. 



We find ourselves staring down the gun barrel of terror at the 
most inconvenient of times. We never know when we might 
discover it aimed at our spirits. 

Young adults face one kind of terror as they prepare to leave 
the security of home for life on their own. A bride and groom 
face another kind on their wedding day. We encounter it as bills 
mount. 

We hear the sobering click of its trigger as a relationship we 
committed to for the long haul disintegrates while we stand im- 
mobilized and helpless. Click. The doctor reports a suspicious 
test result. Click. Our children make a disastrous or embarrass- 
ing choice. 

We drop to our knees, but the ceiling seems to block our cries 
for help. It's real life — we do what we can to avoid the ter- 
rorist assaults on our spirits, but some things can only be faced 
head on. Even death ... especially death. It is our shared destiny. 



22 



Advent Christian Witness, March/April, 2005 



Many of us parent children who never disappoint us. Some of 
us will live a lifetime with the same spouse and divorce never 
mentioned as a possibility. A few will always enjoy a comfort- 
able level of income. A handful will never see the inside of a 
hospital except to visit a friend. But unless Jesus returns first, 
we will all run, walk, crawl or be dragged into the valley of 
death's shadow. 

Like many of your neighbors and friends, some members of the 
First Church of Corinth took a wrong theological turn. It's not 
certain whether they denied the resurrection outright or spiri- 
tualized it. They found the Greek idea of the immaterial part 
of us — some call it the soul — continuing to live after death, 
but the idea of a bodily resurrection too huge a leap of faith. 
Easter didn't mean to some of them what it meant to Paul. He 
believed with a passion that the physical resurrection of Jesus 
forever changed the way we look at life and death. 

Because Christ has been raised with a flesh and blood body, 
the resurrection of the dead is central to gospel proclamation. 
Almost everything followers of Jesus proclaim hinges on this 
event. If he's dead, people continue to carry the weight of their 
sin, there's no hope for folks who have died and preachers 
spout nothing but hot air. If Christ has not been raised from the 
dead, we have put all our eggs in the wrong Easter basket. 

Until that Sunday after Passover, death was life's final word. 
The adversary won every time. But sometime before dawn that 
day, to those confessing Jesus as Lord and believing in their 
hearts that God had raised him from the dead, death slipped to 
hfe's second-to-last word. In that time and space event, God 
defanged death and the condition men once called final was 
transformed into a harmless good night's sleep. 

If Jesus isn't alive, pity us. Call us deluded followers of a crazy 
man. If this world is all there is, anybody is better off than 
we are. Michael Horton, a research fellow at Yale University 
Divinity School, once engaged in a panel discussion with a 
Roman Catholic scholar, a mainline Protestant and a conserva- 
tive Jewish rabbi. "Why is someone religious?" the interviewer 
asked. 

"I don't know," he replied. "Without the fact of Christ's histori- 
cal resurrection, I can't see much use in it." 

"Amen," echoes the Apostle. Christ has been raised. Check out 
the evidence guaranteed to hold up in a court of law. Christ is 
the first of many more to come. 

I spent my growing up years on a potato farm in Aroostook 
County, Maine. Along about late July, dad would venture into 
the fields to dig a few hills of potatoes to check the set and as- 
sess the potential yield. He'd bring those small potatoes home 
for mom to cook with new peas, topped off with butter and 
cream. We'd sit down to a meal fit for a king. But the meal only 
hinted at the final harvest set for mid-September when barrels 
and barrels of potatoes would be dug, picked and transported to 
the potato house for storage. 



Jesus was not the first to be raised from the dead, but he was 
the first to be raised to never die again. Everyone with the 
lifeblood of Adam in his veins faces the certainty of death. The 
sin of Father Adam and Mother Eve left us with the legacy of 
death, certain and final. But through faith Jesus transfuses us 
with uninfected blood charged with resurrection platelets. 

Life's hard side makes us wonder. There are days when the 
things that terrorize us triumph. Christians face marital break- 
up, struggle with addictions, face job temptations, make poor 
choices, are diagnosed with tenninal illnesses and die at a rate 
similar to those who live as if God didn't exist. But appearanc- 
es mask a temporary condition with feelings of the permanent. 

The work of redemption may be God's final word on salvation, 
but it is not the finished work of Jesus. His assignment contin- 
ues until every enemy of his Father is destroyed. Christ will be 
victorious over every thing hostile to God. He will liberate his 
people from the consequences of sin. He will restore the world 
to its Eden state — ordered and under control. Then he will 
hand everything over to his Father. 

'7s everything sad going to come untrue? What's hap- 
pened to the world?, " asked Sam. 

''A great Shadow has departed, " said Gandalf, and then 
he laughed, and the sound was like music, or like water 
in a parched land; and as he listened the thought came 
to him that he had not heard laughter, the pure sound of 
merriment, for days upon days without count. It fell upon 
his ears like the echo of all the joys he had ever known. 
But he himself burst into tears. Then, as a sweet rain will 
pass down a wind of spring and the sun will shine out the 
clearer, his tears ceased, and his laughter welled up, and 
laughing he sprang from his bed. 

"How do I feel?" he cried. 'Well, I don 't know how to say 
how I feel, I feel, " — he waved his arms in the air — / 
feel like spring after winter, and the sun on the leaves; 
and like trumpets and harps and all the songs I have ever 
sung!"(J.R.R. Tolkien in The Return of the King) 

When Jesus finishes with everything, God will be in the 
driver's seat forever. Until then, we wait. Sometimes circum- 
stances terrorize us, but the lulls in their assaults on our spirits 
remind the follower of Jesus of a time to come when God will 
be the last word. It's a done deal — signed, sealed and deliv- 
ered the moment the ground shook, the Roman guards fainted 
and the grave clothes dropped from a corpse infused with the 
breath of God.'ir' 

Rev. Clayton Blackstone is pastor of 
the Advent Chrsitan Church in 
Bangor. Maine. 



23 




By Miriam Snow Priebe 

One of the rotten things about growing old is that 
your friends get old, too. Somehow I can get 
used to seeing a wrinkle here and there on my own 
face; but it really shakes me up when I meet a friend 
I have not seen for years and discover that her hair is 
gray, and she's using a cane. 

My daughter, who recently attended her thirtieth 
High School Reunion, remarked that the women 
had stood up better than the men — probably because 
they made a special effort, calling on Miss Clairol 
and other products to push back the years. Wait till 
she goes to her fiftieth! There are certainly changes 
there that no cosmetics can hide! Still we love to see 
those old friends, and we recognize the twinkle in 
their eyes and the bright smiles. They are just aging 
gracefully. 

A sense of humor helps as the years pass. Recently 
Charles and I went out to dinner with two other couples. 
As we got out of the car in front of the Market Square 
Restaurant each of us gave a little groan. Someone men- 
tioned our combined "chorus" and we were all laughing 
as we sat down to eat. It's good to remember the old 

AdvenI Christian Witness. March/April, 2005 



saying, "Laugh and the world laughs with you. . . ." 

I read somewhere recently that even-tempered 
people live longer than their anger-filled neighbors. 
That's good to remember when we find ourselves 
getting short-tempered and sour. General Douglas 
Mac Arthur said on the occasion of his seventy-fifth 
birthday, "In the central place of every heart there is 
a recording chamber; so long as it receives messages 
of beauty, hope, cheer, and courage, so long you are 
young. When the wires are all down and your heart 
is covered with the snows of pessimism and the ice 
of cynicism, then and only then are you grown old." 

The most important thing which can keep us through 
our later years is our faith in God. Believing that the 
universe is in the hands of a loving Father who has 
a plan for the world gives us meaning and dignity 
as our lives wind down. Believing that this is not 
all there is, but a brighter life is ahead, illumines the 
day-to-day struggle. Contemplating Easter makes our 
hearts grow younger and our steps lighter! St. Augus- 
tine said, "... life is changed, not ended." Let's not 
just grow old; let's grow old gracefully! "^ 




Advent Christian 

General Conference 

Interim President 

Rev. Glenn Rice 



k 



A WORD FROM 
OUR PRESIDENT 

Miraculous Love 

It's hard to imagine that the suffering of Jesus is part of God's wonder- 
ful works. Perhaps you are one of the millions of people who have 
seen the death of Jesus as portrayed in graphic detail in the movie. 
The Passion of the Christ. Now, whenever 1 think of Jesus' death, whether 
at a communion service or some other time, 1 find that 1 am overwhelmed 
by the depth of Christ's suffering and sacrifice for the sin of mankind. 
He suffered immeasurably more than 1 had ever imagined. Although 1 
grew up hearing of Christ's sufferings, never had I envisioned the extent 
of what he endured. My eyes were opened hy this depiction — not closed 
— as never before! 

As disciples who love to proclaim the glories of the resurrection, it is 
far too easy to forget our Lord's suffering. Evangelical Christians are 
quick to move past the death of Jesus and on to his resurrection. Make 
no mistake — the resurrection of Jesus is the center of the Christian faith! 
However, the death of Jesus is something that is almost bypassed in some 
traditions. Thankfully, some theological perspectives do not allow their 
adherents to forget! We should be so careful ourselves. Without Jesus' 
death — as graphic and gruesome as it was — the resurrection would be 
meaningless! 

The psalmist captured the magnitude of God's grace in sending his son to 
pay the penalty for our sin. "Oh, that man would give thanks to the Lord 
for his goodness, and for his wonderful works for the children of men" 
(Psalm 107:8 KJV). The setting of the psalm is the Lord's deliverance of 
his people — from their wilderness wanderings, times of captivity, and 
even their scattering throughout the earth. The point is that God is the 
Great Redeemer who has redeemed his people because of his great love. 

That is what God has done by the death of Jesus. He has redeemed us by 
his mercy. His love is so great that he gave his only born son to suffer 
and die in our place. His suffering was real because his love was and is 
real. The only thing greater than his suffering is his love! That's why the 
psalmist calls all God's people to an attitude of praise. As one modern 
paraphrase says, "Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the 
miracles he does for people"{^LT). Now there's a challenge that's hard to 
ignore! 

When was the last time the miraculous power of God's great love caused 
you to praise him? Perhaps the death of Jesus has become so familiar 
that it is a lost truth in need of recapture. I for one would not mind being 
overwhelmed by God's goodness! When was the last time that happened 
toyou?'{}= 



Advent Christian Witness. March/April, 2005 



25 



Find the two Easter eggs that are the same 





IF TBJE UP UIFN, "HP JOUP BMM UIF 
XPSME BOB QSFBDI UIF HPPE OFXT 
UP BMM DSFBUJPO." 

Mark 16:15 




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Solve this cryptollst to find the people who saw Jesus 
after his resurrection. Find the letters these letters 
represent. Once a letter Is decoded. It remains the same 
throughout the list. Look for recurring combinations of 
letters or repeated letters. (Hint: (HJ) 



QMREER 



ACTMSRD 



OKMPRD 



EROKRERTC 



OROOKTH 



(sauiBf 'Msjpuv 
'MaqjjB^^ 'ISBUBijjBfsi 'uqof 
'uouiis 'SBiuoqx 'sBdo3i3 

'/aB[/\I 'BUUBOf :SJ3A\SUY) 



QRPTD 




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Advent Christian Witness, March/April, 2005 




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5b my care sheep, of 1W» John 21:1)8 



Advent Christian Witness. March/April, 2005 




t was a cold, snowy morning, the kind that takes 
a little extra effort to get out of bed and into mo- 
.tion. On this particular morning as I headed into 

the living room, I first saw the cat and then heard the 

bird. 



Trying to escape the chill outside, a bird had become 
lodged in our fireplace chimney. The cat was very 
interested with this sound and was not to be talked 
into leaving her "post" even for breakfast. I guess 
she was hopeful for breakfast of a different sort this 
morning. 



tening to the efforts of the bird and observing the 
hopefulness of the feline. 

It wasn't long before the bird's flutters were success- 
ful and the bird was free, but it was a shock to all of 
us when the bird entered our world instead of leav- 
ing through the top of the chimney! The next few 
minutes felt like hours as my husband and I went 
into "fast forward" speed (or as good as it gets when 
you are pushing 50) and tried to open doors, while 
the bird was bouncing off windows in an effort to 
escape one very excited parsonage cat. 



The flutter of wings was steady and seemed frantic 
at times. I wanted to help but was unsure of what 
to do. I consulted with my husband who seemed to 
think that the bird who had found a way in would 
also find a way out. So for the next hour, we pro- 
ceeded with the tasks of the day, all the while lis- 

28 Advent Christian Witness. March/April, 2005 



The episode has a happy ending. The bird survived 
the collisions with the windows, found the open door 
and escaped to "chirp" this adventure throughout 
the neighborhood. (I would love to have heard his 
side of this story). Life inside the house soon re- 
turned to normal, and the cat, though a little disap- 



o o o 




pointed, had to be satisfied with "Frisky" from the 
can. 

Now, there is a point to this story and it came a few 
days later as I sat on the couch in a few peaceful 
'"fe^^oments of morning solitude. That is when I noticed 
our cat in the very same position — on "duty" beside 
the fireplace, gazing upward, wishful and hopeful. 
This time, there was no noise, no bird and no prom- 
ise of more than a "continental breakfast." And yet, 
there she sat, watching and waiting. 

My mind flashed to the words of Scripture: 

"Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the 
sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you 
into heaven, will come in just the same way as you 
have watched him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11) 

"Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, 
believe also in me. In my father's house are many 



dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told 
you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if 1 go 
and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and 
receive you to myself; that where 1 am, there you 
may be also." (John 14:1-3) 

"Therefore, keep watch, because you do not know on 
what day your Lord will come." (Matthew 24:42) 

This is a very simple illustration for such profound 
truth. Our Lord left this earth in a cloud and he has 
promised to return in one. He is busy with prepara- 
tions and has left me with the command to "watch, 
be alert ... for your redemption draweth nigh." (Luke 
21:28) 

I was grateful that morning for the reminder as I ob- 
served the cat. I did more "looking to the skies" that 
day, grateful that our reward will be so much greater 
than a gourmet breakfast — no comparison! 11= 

Advent Christian Witness. March/April, 2005 29 



(editorial continue J) 



/ 



Once inside our home, she offered to vacuum our carpet 
for free while she waited for her ride. I said, "OK, but 
we are not buying a vacuum cleaner today." She smiled 
at my defiance and hastily went to work assembling this 
monstrous machine like a shop full of elves hopped-up 
on diet pills. She had Robin's rapt attention as I gathered 
my sandwich to get a closer look for myself before I had 
to scurry out for a church meeting. 

After using this near magical device (by her claims) she 
had no doubt sucked dirt clean through the cement slab 
the house was built on. Just before I left for my meeting, 
she was finally sharing the price for the modern marvel 
she was peddling — after only an HOUR demonstration. 

I smiled as 1 was leaving, thanked her for her time, 
and instructed her to call her ride because the Pritchett 
family would not be purchasing her vacuum cleaner 
Truth be known, the price she quoted for her machme 
exceeded the blue book value of the Pontiac I was 
driving. 

Following my hour and a half 
meeting, I returned home to 
retrieve my wife and 
children to attend my ,«(_ 

daughter's violin con- j ^ 'ij 
cert. Lo and behold, ^Sfc -^ 

I find our uninvited 

house guest still hammering my wife with her sales 
pitch. At this point, I humorlessly remarked that the 
time had come for her to leave before I had to claim her 
on my taxes. We were leaving and we were not buy- 
ing. She assured us that her ride was nearby, so Robin 
offered to drive separately after making sure this poor 
woman would not be left in the cold. 

As you might guess, Robin never made it to the concert. 
After my daughter put her instrument away, we hurried 
home to make sure everything was alright. As I walked 
in my front door well after 10:00 p.m. that evening, I 
found my wife sitting on the floor crying, surrounded by 
what looked like a collection of Star Wars droids. Ap- 
propriately, my first sound was not unlike a howl from 
Chewbacca the Wookie. 

1 tried in vain to ignore the obvious and I stupidly asked 
the question expected of any man facing that situation 
— "you didn't buy this, did you?" Of course she had 
purchased this refugee from an episode of monster 
garage. After more than five hours of a high-pressure 




sales pitch that included VACUUMING OUR DOG, and 
cleverly taking our relatively new Sears vacuum in trade, 
my wife had reluctantly signed the papers to buy the 
machine, and as a result would likely destroy any hope 
of sending our children to college. 

Never fear, sports fans — the next day I returned the 
vacuum-a-saurus, retrieved our down payment check, 
and after threatening legal action, got them to return our 
old reliable vacuum cleaner. So, you may ask, what was 
the gleaming spiritual insight gained regarding evan- 
gelism — the act of Christians sharing their faith — 
through this door-to-door 
debacle? 

The sad reality was that I 
truly was interested in buy- 
ing one of those vacuum 
cleaners. I was impressed 
with its capabilities and 
J/l/Sf^^^llfKI^'^ltff^ ever* could have been con- 

j^Hl||^^|L ^'ll^ vinced that it was worth a 

"■^^Hat^^^^^ * little more because of its 

^111^^^" 'x, quality. The problem 

lay in the fact that I 
simply was not ready 
-~ to buy at that mo- 
ment, and as a result 
of her tactics, I have 
vowed to never own one of those machines. Sometimes 
in our zeal to "sell" the gospel, we ignore the needs and 
spiritual progress of those we seek to save. 

Tucked away in the ultimate verse of personal evange- 
lism, 1 Peter 3:15, is a similar call to sensitivity in how 
we share the message. It says, "But in your hearts set 
apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an 
answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for 
the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and 
respect ...." 

Yes, we are to set apart Christ as Lord of our lives and 
be ever-ready to answer any who would ask about our 
faith. But if they are to ask us, should not our presenta- 
tion of the gospel of Christ in our lives be attractive, 
genuine and gentle? You see, in sharing our faith we 
must demonstrate Christ's love and respect for those 
we seek to evangelize. Otherwise, we run the risk of 
packaging the gospel like an overpriced vacuum cleaner. 
Even if our hearers are interested, our smug attitude or 
self-righteous manner may become barriers to belief 'fr 




30 



Advent C/irislian Witness. March/April, 2005 




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Witness 



Volume 53, Issue 3 

www.adventchristian.org 

1-800-676-0694 

Editor 
Keith Wheaton 

Assistant Editor 
Jan Thomas 

Contributing Editor 
Tom Warner 

Proofreader 
Kathy Wheaton 

Women s Ministry Editor 
Pam Buchanan 



Advent Christian 
General Conference 



Julia Brock Missions Secretary 

WorldMisswns@jadventch ristian. org 
Nancy Brooks Exec. Director Secretary 

ExecDirect@adventchristian.org 
Pam Buchanan Women's ministries coordinator 

Womensministries@adventchristian.org 
Shirley Efird Bookkeeper 

Trena Efird Missions Secretary 

WorldMissions(a)adventchristian.org 
Helen Hagler Printer/Mailroom 

Amy Johnson Bookkeeper 

Donna Martin Printer/Mailroom 

Harold Patterson World Missions Director 

WorldMissions(g)jadventchristian.org 
Tina Pressley Venture Bookstore 

Venture@adventchristian. org 
Mary Ritchie Church Relations Secretary 

MaryRitchie@adventchristian.org 
John Roller Urban/Ethnic & Resource Center 

JRollerCdadvenlchristian.org 
Dawn Russell Venture Bookstore 

Ventured adventchristian.org 
Richard Russell Church Relations Director 

ChurchRelationsCdiadventchristian.org 
Dawn Rutan Information Services 

DRutanCa 'adventch ristian. org 
Jim Smith Finance/Services 

Services(d advenlchristian.org 
Jan Thomas Assistant Editor 

Jan ThomasCaacgc. us 
Ron Thomas Executive Director 

ExecDirect(ajadventchristian.org 

Keith Wheaton Publications Director 

Keith(dacgc.us 



International Missionaries 



Area Directors: 

Scott Dombrosky — Latin 

America/Short-Term Missions 

sdomhrosky@heUsouth.net 

John Gilbert — Team Leader 

john@99plus I . org 

Frank Jewett — Europe/Africa 

Jjewett@megaUnk. net 

John Roller — Urban/Ethnic 

jroller@adventchristian.org 

Clio Thomas — Asia/Pacific 

cliowestva@msn. com 

Honduras 

David Vignali (5/10) 

c/o Teen Missions 

Apartado Postal 4094 

San Pedro Sula 

HONDURAS 

dcvignali@acgc. us 

Liberia 

Abraham David 

Advent Christian Church 

P.O. Box 4669 

Monrovia, LIBERIA 

advent ehristian@yahoo.com 

Malaysia 

Victor and Nesamony 

Devadason, 

Beaulah Margreat Devasa- 

hayam 

No. 24 Jalan Pandan 12 

Taman Dato Hormat 42500 

Teiuk Panglima Garang 

K. Langat, Selangor 

MALAYSIA 

acbcmalaysia@yahoo.com 

James and Mercy Devadas- 
son 

20 Jalan Intan 4 

Taman Intan 

86000 Kluang, Johor 

MALAYSIA 

adventchristian@ hotmail. 

com 

Ruth Devairakkam 

36 Jalan 14/2 
Taman Sri Kluang 
86000 Kluang, Johor 
MALAYSIA 
ruthadvent@yahoo.com 



Philippines 

Jeff and Penny Vann 

(7/14 & 5/12; Elizabeth, 

10/24; Connie, 3/29; 

Naomi, 10/11) 

PO. Box 223 

9000 Cagayan de Oro 

Philippines 

(while on deputation) 

134 Essex St.. apt. B202 

S. Hamilton. MA 01982 

Jeffvann@ acgc.us 

penny vann@\acgc. us 

Grant Aldridge (7/27) 

P.O. Box 223 

9000 Cagayan de Oro 

Philippines 

aldridge@home.philcom.ph 

National Missionaries 

Memphis 

Francis and Lyne Ssebi- 

kindu 

2175 Carrollwood 
Cordova, TN 38018 
fssebikindu@ worldnet. 
att.net 

Mexico 

Juan "Martin" Camacho 

Valdez 

c/o John Gilbert 
PO. Box 9019 
CalexiccCA 9223 1-90 19 
Miguel and Maria Mena 

c/o John Gilbert 

PO. Box 9019 SF 168 

CalexiccCA 9223 1-90 19 

Croatia 
Desire Ahola 

PO. Box 29 
Nova Gradiska 
35400 CROATIA 
a_c_c_euroconference 
@hotmail.com 

Ghana 
Simon Bissah 

A.C.C. 

PO. Box 604 

Nsawam, Eastern Region 

Ghana 

simbissah@yahoo. com 



India 

Earl and Martha Wright 

(4/16 & 10/17) 

PO. Box 3164 

Guindy Chennai 600 032 

dewmlw@hotmail.com 

(address through Sept. 18) 

c/o Ruth Warren 

471 Trice Cemetary Rd. 

Thomaston, GA 30286 

Ernie Schache (1/29) 

1 6 Coventry Way 
Torbay, North Shore City 
Auckland 1311 
New Zealand 
ernie.schache@acmissionz.org.n: 



Kenya 
Simeon Rianga 

PO. Box6H 
Nyamarambe-Kisii. Kenya 

New Zealand 
David Burge 

12 Bettina Place 

Manurewa 

Auckland, NEW ZEALAND 

dburge@lslingshot. co.nz 

South Africa 
Nathan Fernando 

14 Dick MuUer Drive 
NorkemPark 1620 
S.AFRICA 2028 

nathankf@excite.com 

India 

Jeeva Kiruban 

Box 3164 

Guindy. Chennai 600 032 

China 

All correspondence should 
be channeled through the 
missions office. 



Advent Christian Wilne.f.s (ISSN #0741-4302) is published bimonthly by the Advent Christian General Conference of 
America, 1460 1 Albemarie Rd., P.O. Box 23152, Chariotte. NC 28227. Subscription rates in the United States and Canada: 
One year $15.00. Single copy $2.75. Overseas rate, one year $18.00. Periodicals postage paid at Charlotte, NC. and ad- 
ditional maihng offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Advent Christian Witness, P.O. Box 23152, Charlotte. 
NC 28227. Printed in Canada. 

As the official publication of the Advent Christian General Conference, the Advent Christian Witness publishes the 
teachings of the Advent Christian Church and promotes the task of disciple-making both in North America and around the 
world. The views expressed in this magazine are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those of the editor or 
the Advent Christian General Conference. Member: Evangelical Press Association. Copyright © 2005. 



Guest Editorial 



Contents 







by Dr. Thomas S. Warren II 
TRUSSES, TRUST & TRUTH! 



Going through a building campaign teaches you many 
things. For me, it was a basic truth that grabbed my at- 
tention. I soon discovered how important it is to have a 
strong framework upon which to build a building. More 
importantly, perhaps, is the absolute necessity of plac- 
ing one's framework upon a sturdy foundation in order 
to stand against a storm. A solid foundation and strong 
framework do not eliminate the possibility of storms; but 
they do increase the chances of withstanding them. 

Sometimes, the framework of a building needs to be 
strengthened due to the realization that it might not 
withstand the next storm. A recent example of this is the 
increases made to the structural integrity of building 
frames because of hurricane Andrew, which hit the state 
of Florida a dozen years ago. Before Andrew, frames 
only had to endure 125 mph winds. Now, they are man- 
dated to resist 140 mph. 

Many years ago, 1 was asked a very important question 
regarding the future of the local church. I responded in 
this way, ". . .the local church will have difficulty growing 
and maturing because it does not have the structure or 
framework needed to grow in the way that God intended 
it to grow. " Now, years later, as I think more specifically 
about this question, it appears to me that God was saying 
something very profound to me. Only now am I begin- 
ning to understand. 



Guest Editorial 3 

Who Will Go For Us? (An Excerpt) 4 

Dr. David Dean 

Grief Gave Him the Mike 7 

Rev. Jason Hudson 

No Regrets 10 

Clio Thomas 

Advent Christian General 
Conference Supplement 13 

Our History: William Miller and the 
Early Phases of the Advent 

Movement, Part 3 21 

Rev. Orin Roe Jenks 

As Children 26 

Dawn Russell 

He Keeps Me Singing 28 

Libby Harren 

WHFMS Honor Roll 2004 30 

Ram Buchanan 



(Continued on page 25) 



^> s 



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/l' 



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"Go...and make disciples of all 1 
nations, baptizing them in the k 
name of the Father and of the 1 
Son and of the Holy Spirit " 1 




K^^^lJ 


/ho^ 




wS 


7tt,l G 


6 1 


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ipRUs? y 

S The inspiring story of one ■ 
ib denomination's ongoing flr 

if SACRIFICE AND COMMITMENT 

■u TO WORLD MISSIONS jL ; 

WL BY DR. DAVID A. DEAN W 



rn 



for more than a decade, Advent Christians have eagerly awaited Dr 
David Deans history of Advent Christian world missions. Now available 
through Venture Bookstore, this hook contains many stories of faith, 
courage and heartbreak as Advent Christians gave all they had to make 
disciples for Christ. The following is an excerpt from this work. 



The Nanking rampage 



The Northern army controlled Nanking. As Chiang 
Kai Shek's Cantonese army approached, they first 
cut off the city's escape routes on the Yangtze's 
south shore. Then they engaged the northern troops 
just below Nanking. Many of Chiang Kai Shek's sol- 
diers were strongly anti-Christian. The battle began 
on March 21st and lasted until the 23rd. By the next 
morning, the Cantonese army occupied the city. The 
relative quiet was about to give way to the "Nanking 
Rampage." Foreigners would be robbed, terrorized 
and murdered; and every foreign building in the city 
would be vandalized, looted and left in shambles. 

March 24, 1927, proved 
to be a day of terror 
for all three American 
Advent Mission Society 
missionaries trapped 

within the city. Throughout the 
day, bands of soldiers followed one another into ev- 
ery foreign edifice. Successive groups uncovered less 
of value to loot and became more unreasonable with 
their hostages. They brandished weapons, struck 
foreigners and threatened to kill them, demanded 
more money, and vandalized whatever they could. 
Dr. J. E. Williams, in whose home Orrin Single- 
terry lived, was murdered in cold blood. One of the 
most ruthless soldiers punctuated his demands for 
money by dragging Orrin downstairs. "He showed 
me the dead body of Dr. Williams crumpled on the 
stretcher just as they had brought him in from the 
street. There was a handkerchief over his face, with a 
bright red stain over the forehead. 'Do you see him?' 
the soldier asked. I replied that I did. 'That's what 
Fm going to do to you if you don't find more money 
for me.' Then he launched into a tirade against the 
foreigners ... I thought my end had come, but the 
Lord was there to sustain and save me. Something 
drew his attention away for a moment, and I fled 
back upstairs and rejoined the others." Later, after he 
and Miss Hazard had each escaped from their build- 
ings, they gathered with other Americans at Nanking 



University. "I spoke with Mr. Singleterry," Alice re- 
ported, "but he seemed too dazed to answer. I think 
he was nearly crazed when he thought of his young 
wife and babe lying in the hospital and he unable to 
go to them." 

That day Alice Hazard 

passed through her own 

chamber of horrors after 

soldiers stormed into 

her Girls' School. Each suc- 
cessive mob proved more violent and out of control. 
One held a gun to her chest and forced her to par- 
tially disrobe while they searched her. Mrs. Hu, an 
82-year-old Chinese Christian, sought to protect her. 
She "threw herself on the floor between the soldiers 
and me and begged them to spare my life. ... Every 
time they started for me she would stand between 
me and them and beg them not to touch me, not to 
kill me, for I had saved her life. After a time they 
got tired of this, so they slapped her face and drove 
her away with guns." But the threats continued. 
"You can imagine the agony and suspense we were 
in for hours. At last it seemed to me that it would be 
a mercy if they did shoot us, for it was so terrible 
sitting there expecting to die any moment. We lived 
through eternity in those few hours! None of us ever 
expected to leave the room alive." 

At the hospital, the staff did their best to protect Myrtle 
Singleterry, her infant son George, and other patients. 

But troops contin- 
ued their periodic in- 
trusions and searched 
everyone for valuables 
while also looting the 

facility. Only after dark that night could 
the staff smuggle her and the baby safely to Nanking 
University and a reunion with Orrin. 



'6' 



After American and British warships bombarded 
Nanking to protect their nationals, Kuomintang of- 
ficers restored order among their men in the city. By 
late afternoon the next day (March 25) the Chinese 
Red Cross supervised an evacuation of foreigners. 
Miss Hazard and the Singleterry family joined the 
long procession of carriages, rickshaws, and people 
on foot on their way to an American warship. They 
arrived in Shanghai on Sunday evening, March 27. 

With time, Commissioner Hewitt could account 
for all of his missionaries and their children. 

^^Of the twenty-six for- 
eign liveS/ including 
children, connected with 
our Adventist missions 
in China, not one was 

lOS t . '' Bertha Cassidy and Helen Seery ar- 
rived in Shanghai earlier, but the Spauldings and 
Singleterrys became the first to sail for the U.S. on 
Monday, April 4. Later, Mr. Hewitt welcomed Miss 
Barton, Miss Stocks, her adopted daughter, (Grace 
Hsuen), the Kenningtons and their youngest two 
children. Their two older children had been brought 
to Shanghai from their Nanking school before the 
battle began. The Commissioner arranged for all of 
them to return to America by ship. The final book- 
ing was for Miss Hazard on a June 4th sailing. 

Before H.W. Hewitt left for home himself, he con- 
ferred in Shanghai with Joe Wharton. 

The once thriving AAMS 
missionary enterprise 
was in disarray. Much of 
its property had been :,y 
reduced to rubble or 
was now occupied by the 

military, its North American workers 
had been forced out of the country. What remained 
was a Chinese church with largely inexperienced 
leadership, inadequate financial resources, and an 



uncertain future. Hewitt departed Shanghai on May 
9, 1927, leaving Joe Wharton as the only AAMS 
missionary still at his post in China. Joe was now the 
secretary-treasurer and superintendent of the field. 

The strain of the past few months was imprinted 
indelibly in the psyches of those who survived them. 
One could only hope that calm would return so 
that the China mission might revive. In America, 
the AAMS Board released its missionaries from 
their obligations to return. In China, Joe Wharton 
went back to his Wuhu post and gathered as many 
reports about the work as possible. They were not 
encouraging, but he was not deterred. "We intend 
to carry on," he reported. "Every effort we can 
put forth to help the people right now is an ef- 
fort well worthwhile. As far as we can do so, we 
must continue to help. ... We are glad to be here. 

Often weary in the ser- 
vice of God/ but never 
weary of it, we still 
think this is the great- 
est mission field in the 
world. Let us carry on.'^ 

And Joe Wharton, at least, did carry on. He hoped it 
would not be alone. 'fr 



To order your copy of "Who Will Go 
for Us?" call Venture Bookstore, 800- 
676-0694, ext. 251. 



'Cre 



/Madras 



When a young actress was senselessly killed and 
her friends left reeling in pain and doubt ... 




Gave Him 
the Mike 



By Jason Hudson 



hurch on the Hill is an Advent Christian church 
plant in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Se- 
. ' attle. The following story accounts some amazing 
things God has been doing on Capitol Hill, and we share 
it in hopes you will pray for those to whom God is reveal- 
ing Himself. As you can understand, some names have 
been changed so as to not jeopardize the ministry among 
those involved. 

During the early morning hours of January 28, 2005, Ni- 
cole duFresne was shot and killed on the Lower East Side 
of New York City. Her fiance held her lifeless body in his 
arms, surrounded by two friends, also soon to be married. 
All four had been celebrating Nicole's new job. However, 
while walking home at 3 a.m., four teenagers mugged the 
couples and shot Nicole. 



8 



Nicole had been an actress in Seattle's fringe 
theater scene before moving to New York 
City, and her death received coverage in the 
New York Times, Washington Post, and Larry King 
Live. But more than just a headline story, Nicole's 
life — and now her death — continues to impact those 
in Seattle's theater community. 

Church on the Hill rents space at the Capitol Hill 
Arts Center (CHAC), a fringe theater located in our 
neighborhood. Nicole wrote and performed plays 
used at the CHAC, and the entire community of 
people in our building was close to her. 

I had never heard of Nicole until that Friday, two 
days after her murder. My friend, Peter, the manager 
of CHAC, personally e-mailed me an invitation to a 
memorial gathering Sunday night. He and I have de- 
veloped a great relationship over the past two years, 
and his girlfriend, Rachel, was a very close friend 
with Nicole. 

Sunday night came, and I went early to help set-up. 
My wife, Katie, and I spent a little time with Peter 
and Rachel, their faces searching for hope of any 
kind. Everyone mingled with a rare sense of ac- 
knowledged need. Yet the wine and hugs were not 
answering their questions nor relieving their per- 
sonal fears. 

I walked Katie home and then returned. Around 9:00 
p.m. people began stepping up to a microphone, tell- 
ing stories and relating what they remembered about 
Nicole. As 1 sat and scanned the room, I remember 
having a faithless thought: "These people need God, 
but they are never going to listen to me about Jesus. 
It'll never happen. These people are too hardened." 

I sat with Rachel and Peter for awhile during this 
time. Peter asked me to run an errand, and when I 
returned I took a seat in the corner, near the mike 
but in the dark. For two hours we listened to story 
after story, and I felt I was getting to know Nicole 
pretty well. 

At the end, Rachel came to the mike and told another 
story about Nicole. Then she said to all the people in 

Advent Christian Witness - May/June 2005 



the room: "There's one other thing. I don't know how 
many of you know this, but there's a resident pastor 
at the CHAC . . . Pastor Jason." She looked over at 
me sitting in the dark corner, as did everyone else. 

"Jason, I don't mean to embarrass you, but I was 
hoping you would come and say something to us. We 
need something, and I believe you have something 
to give us . . . something we all need and are looking 
for. Would you come?" 

I was shocked. It was as if God was laughing at 
me, proving his sovereignty. Here was a desperate 
community asking me to come tell them what they 
needed. 

Every eye in the room was glued on me, waiting ea- 
gerly to hear what came through the mike. I began. 
"This is quite a surprise. I never met Nicole. I had 
never seen her. I never had the chance to see one 
of her plays. I had never heard of her before Peter 
e-mailed me on Friday night. "But I feel like after 
tonight I know Nicole. I know Nicole, not because 
I've seen or heard her, but because her best friends 
have told me about her. 

"It is hard to believe God would care about how we 
feel. We can't see him. We can't hear him. We can't 
touch him. But Jesus' best friends have told us about 
him. And they tell us that he cares. They tell us God 
has passion for us. 

"Tonight, I need to tell you about God. I need to tell 
you about Jesus. Some of you may hate Jesus. Some 




Jason Hudson ministering at Church on the Hill 




Capital Hill Arts Center is the meeting place of Church on the Hill, 
an Advent Christian Church in Seattle, Washington. 



of you may love Jesus. But what you need to know is 
that Jesus cares about what you are going through. 

"Jesus had a good friend, Lazarus, who died. Jesus 
felt just like you. He hated death. He cried over his 
friend. He felt the pain you're feeling. God knows 
what it's like to lose someone you love, and he came 
to bring life. 

"Could I please have the opportunity to pray over 
you tonight? Can I pray that Jesus would help you in 
your lives?" 

Astonishingly, the response was overwhelmingly 
yes. Even Nicole's two friends, who had been with 
her the night she was shot, looked at me with big 
eyes and nodded their heads emphatically. On a 
night when I was faithless that these people would 
ever listen to me about Jesus, they had ASKED me 
to close in prayer! Jesus was preached to the Seattle 
population of fringe theater. And I finished by pray- 
ing the Gospel over them. 

We ask for prayer because this opportunity has 
resuhed in people from CHAC continuing to ask 



questions. One person, in particular, is asking ques- 
tions about how to know God. With the finality of 
death exposing our fraiUy, these artists are recog- 
nizing that their personal causes in this life may 
not extend past their own death. They're dependent 
on something beyond themselves; a new thought to 
many of these people. 

This is the break we have been waiting for on Capi- 
tol Hill. A few church planters here on the Hill have 
been praying for such an opening for some time, and 
God has proved faithful to his passion for the people 
here. Please pray that God continues to miraculously 
allow for us to speak about Jesus. I}" 



Jason and Katie 
Hudson are serving 
as pastor and wife 
at an AC church, 
The Church on the 
Hill, in the Capi- 
tol Hill section of 
Seattle, Wash. 




Advent Christian Witness - May/June 2005 



No Regrets 



Fifty years 
widiout 



liyCUoIbomas 



Paul tells us in Romans 
10, "No one who be- 
lieves in him (Christ) 
will ever be disappointed." 
That's a bold claim that Paul 
throws out to us. But, after 
50 years of pastoral ministry, 
1 can say to you that it's true. 
It doesn't mean that life will 
never disappoint us, or that 
other people won't disap- 
point us, but that Jesus will 
never disappoint us! 

As I finish 50 years of pasto- 
ral ministry I am reminded 
of the words of Polycarp 
when he was arrested and 



BPACCI ^ 

STACRUlOAmiAMAWmiEmi 



IN APPRECIATION OF THE CONTRIBUTION ID 

THIS PROJECT BY 
WEST VAUer ADVENT CHRISTIAN (MURCH 
RE(WNlZIN(i THE « YEARS OF DEWCATED 
SER*KE TO THAT CHURCH AND THE WORLD- 
WIDE MINISTRY OF THE 
ADVENT CHRISTIAN OENCRAL CONFERENCE 

REV CLK) £ MRS. KATHLEEN THOMIfii 

2005 

' PHIL. 4: 1? .^ 



<^ 



'i---^ 



y 



^-' 



4 



Rev. Clio Thomas is standing at the entrance of an orchard 
in Sta. Cruz, Claveria, Misamis Oriental, in Mindanao — the 
southern island of the Philippines — that has been purchased by 
the A.C. Missions of New Zealand for the Philippine Confer- 
ence. The purpose of the orchard is to generate income — from 
the sale of its fruit — for pastors and church planting. Monies 
were given by the West Valley A.C. Church in Seattle, Wash- 
ington to purchase the first plantings in the orchard in honor of 
Clio and Kathleen's ministry of 43 years. 



10 



Advent Christian Witness - May/June 2005 



2. 



asked to renounce the name of 
Jesus. His words were, "I have 
served him eighty-six years 
and he has done me no wrong; 
how then can I blaspheme my 
king who has saved me? Hear 
me plainly, I am a Christian." 

Christianity is all about 
Jesus — not about us or about 
our feelings, our personal 
successes or failures. It is all 
about the Christ of whom Paul 
said that if we trust in him we 
will never be disappointed. I 
have no regrets about serving 
Jesus for 50 years. It has been 
and is still the most satisfying 
and rewarding thing I could 
ever imagine. When we trust 
him with our lives he stuns 
and amazes us "above all that 
we could ever ask or think." 
He is a wonderful master. His 
yoke is easy and his burden is 
light. 

The things that I find myself 
thinking about most as this 
chapter of my life comes to 
an end and a new chapter is 
beginning, are those things 
tied up with Jesus and his im- 
measurable love and promises. 



I think about things like these: 
Why is it that some people seem to come so 
close to Jesus, perhaps even meet him, and "ac- 
cept" him intellectually but never fall in love 
with him? He has never hurt them; on the con- 
trary he loves them intensely, but they keep him 
at arms length. My heart is sad that they never 
seem to come to know him better. Oh, how they 
miss out on what life is all about. . ..because he is 
the way, the truth, and the life! 



Why do some Christians 



seem to come so close to Jesus, maybe 
even meet him and accept him intellectu- 
ally, but never "fall in love" with him? 

give "token gifts" to Jesus, but refuse to 
tithe when all any of us ever have comes 
from him in the first place? 

make decisions in life without asking 
God's will? How can he bless what he 
had no part in choosing? 

retire and fritter away time in mean- 
ingless activity? 



5. who call themselves a part of Christ's 
Church, take their commitment to the 
Church so lightly and seldom join in the 
corporate worship and fellowship of the 
gathered body of Christ? 



When will we ever learn his full lesson that if 
we yield all to him he will more than take care 
of us and meet all our needs? Some of us hold 
onto our money, time, and energy as though 
they were ours alone, and we are smart enough 
to know how to handle them. Many Christians 
refuse to give to him a tithe of their income. 
We give him token "gifts" but don't seem to 
realize that all any of us ever have comes from 
him in the first place. We have ample funds 
to buy all kinds of toys for ourselves and then 
give a token gift to him who loves us so much 



Advent Christian Witness - May/June 2005 



11 



that he gave everything for us. After 50 years 
ril never understand a Christian who refuses to 
tithe. The tragedy is that when we refuse we are 
the biggest losers. I say this with tears! 

The greatest joy in life is finding one's self in 
the will of God. 
Over the years I 
have discovered 
the need to hang 
loose and be will- 
ing to do whatever 
he wants. This is 
not only the best 
thing for him 
and his kingdom, 
but also for us as 
individuals. For 
when we are in 
the will of God we 
are in cooperation 
with the Lord of 
the universe and 
engulfed in his 

wonderful grace and powerful resources. The 
Lord's Prayer has become a pattern for prayer 
for me. Pray that prayer and ponder it every day 
for a month and it will change your life. I guar- 
antee it!! Every life decision ought to be made 
in light of knowing God's will for our lives. We 
need to pray ahead of time for his will, not ask 
him later to bless the things we decided without 
giving him any choice in the matter. How can 
he bless what he had no part in choosing? 



Christianity 


is all 


about Jesus- 


—not 


about us or . 


about 


our feelings, 


our 


personal successes | 


or failures. 





I'll never understand Christian people who 
call themselves a part of Christ's Church, but 
who seldom join in the corporate worship and 
fellowship of the gathered body of Christ. I am 
not talking about sick and shut-in folk. I am 
thinking of able-bodied people who take their 
commitment to the 
Church so lightly. 
The reality is that 
Jesus saves individ- 
uals to make them 
apart of his body, 
the Church, not 
to be islands unto 
themselves. We 
need Christ more 
than anyone, but 
we also need each 
other. I will never 
understand Chris- 
tians who don't see 
that and live it. 

Your future may 
be dark and hidden. The road may be long and 
steep. There may be much to face, and much to 
bear. But, one thing I can say with the full as- 
surance of Christ and his followers through the 
ages, "No one who puts his trust in Christ will 
ever be disappointed. No one." No, not you! 
Trust him! Test him! Take him as your life's 
companion. He will never fail you!1j' 



1 don't believe in retirement, at least in retire- 
ment in the sense that we have come to know it 
in America, where people leave jobs to play and 
travel for pleasure. I think of some of the great 
Christians who were active in their ministries 
into their 80's and 90's. I was past 70 when 
God called me to serve him in Africa, and then 
in the far-flung countries of Asia. God has too 
much for us to do to fritter away our time in 
meaningless activity. 



Rev. Clio Thomas was the pastor of the 
West Valley A.C. Church in Seattle, Wash- 
ington for several years. Currently he 
is serving the denomination as the Asia 
Pacific Area Director. He holds leadership 
roles in meetings with pastors, conferences 
and other leaders of the western region. In 
addition to these responsibilities, Clio is 
also actively involved in his landscaping 
business, ' ' Trends. 



Advent Christian Witness - May/June 2005 




Jesus is coming back. 






Advent Christian 

General Conference 

President 

Rev. Glenn Rice 




u 



i 



"Waiting for our blessed hope, the 
appearing of the glory of our great God 
and Savior Jesus Christ" 
(Titus 2:13, English Standard Version). 



What a great time to be an Advent Christian! In the midst 
of the world's darkness we know the hope of the Gospel that 
brings life and light to every man. Paul calls this "the blessed 
hope," and indeed it is! 

The Advent Christian Church stands on the sure foundation 
of the Second Coming of Jesus. Our heritage reminds us that 
we have an unshakable hope. In an age when this doctrine has 
been diluted or "turned over to the crazies and the confused" 
(in the words of one modern writer). Advent Christians can 
boldly proclaim a message we have always believed. Jesus is 
coming soon, and the lateness of the hour suggests that the day 
of his appearing is drawing near! 

I believe our forefathers in the faith would welcome the op- 
portunity to proclaim this blessed hope in an age of dreadful 
darkness and human hopelessness. People, now more than 
ever, need to know the Source of all hope, which is the ap- 
pearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus! In 
the words of an old Adventist hymn, "The stars of heaven are 
growing dim, it must be the breaking of the day." As this world 
appears to hang precipitously on the edge of collapse and de- 
spair looms large among the populace. Advent Christians still 
have the opportunity to proclaim the timeless truths of God's 



Word. We may not have our prophetic charts or big tents in 
which to conduct our crusades, but neither do we need them! 
What we have is what we have always had - the Good News 
that Jesus is coming again, and he is coming soon! 

Will this be the message that will identify twenty-first century 
Advent Christians? The world around us is filled with people 
who see history as out of control. Others are gripped with fear 
of an unknown future. Only the doctrine of the Kingdom of 
God — with its promised consummation at the Second Coming 
of Jesus Christ — can meet the need of the hour. This doctrine 
needs to be interpreted meaningfully to this insecure genera- 
tion. That can only be accomplished by a people who believe 
the message and are committed to the task at hand. We need a 
renewed commitment to carry this message forward and pro- 
claim it as it once was declared. Time is growing short and we 
must not delay. The next sound heard around the world may be 
the blast of his trumpet! 

As we proclaim this message in these closing days of time, 
may the Lord empower us and grant us success. His coming is 
drawing near, and these are indeed great days to be an Advent 
Christian! 





The staff of Advent Christian General Conference 



Executive Director 



"Convinced of the imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
Advent Christian General Conference exists to Encourage, 
Equip, and Empower Advent Christians worldwide to be obe- 
dient to His Great Commandment and Great Commission." 
(Mission Statement for Advent Christian General Conference) 

Our beginnings as a denomination were defined by a sense 
of urgency. As we did then, today we still believe the Second 
Coming of our Lord is near. Jesus told his disciples, '"So you 
also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an 
hour when you do not expect him (Matthew 24:44). " This fact 
has prompted us to be determined to communicate the hope 
that is ours in Christ Jesus. And because of this message, we 
must be diligent to carry out the mandates of our Lord. That is 
why both the Great Commandment and the Great Commission 
are at the center of all we do. 

To keep us focused on the purposes we believe God would 
have us to pursue, we have proposed a three-year strategic 
plan. Four specific planning areas will receive our attention, 
with the belief we will be taking steps toward preparing for the 
future. The first of those planning areas is "Communicating 
our Message." While our new mission statement embraces that 
message, it is clearly stated by Jesus himself as recorded in 
Rev. 22:20, "Yes, I am coming soon." This fact alone accents 
the importance of what we do every day as followers of our 



soon-coming King. The other planning areas that will support 
the communicating of this message are: Leadership Develop- 
ment, Stewardship and Governance. 

The partnership with our local churches, conferences, regions 
and mission outreaches is critical to what we do as a denomi- 
nation. Hopefully, the direction we prayerfully determine will 
be a course that establishes a spirit of unity and commonness 
of goals. While Advent Christian General Conference provides 
the resources and assistance to strengthen the local church, our 
main objective is to provide leadership that will demonstrate 
our commitment to one another and to the Head of the Church, 
Jesus Christ our Lord. To this end we pray. 

A defining discipline upon which our history has been formed 
and our future rests is the active and purposeful exercise of 
prayer. There has been a renewed emphasis of this spiritual 
discipline within our churches. Prayer is more than a seasonal 
program. It is the means by which we are connected to one 
another and to the One who taught us to pray. We have neither 
life, nor purpose, nor any future without prayer defining who 
we are and what we are to do. And our prayer is; "May the 
God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a 
spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus..." 
Romans 15:5 



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Department of Services 



Convinced of the imminent return of our Lord, Jesus Christ, 
Advent Christian General Conference is committed to account- 
ability and stewardship of funds entrusted to us by our donors. 
We want to use your gifts wisely and effectively in Christ's 
Service. To ensure our financial accountability, ACGC is a 
member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Account- 
ability. We fully support the purpose and goals of ECFA and 
comply with its membership standards, including an annual 
audit performed by an independent certified public accounting 
firm in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards 
and generally accepted accounting principles. The Department 
of Services provides reports to and meets with the Executive 
Council. This fulfills ECFA standards of meeting biannually to 
establish policy, review its accomplishments and set the budget 
for each year. 

The Department of Services is responsible for all financial 
accounting and reporting, cash management, investments, and 
budgeting activities of the Advent Christian General Confer- 
ence, the Advent Christian Tithing Association, and the Advent 
Christian Minister's Pension Plan. The department maintains 
and operates housing, offices, grounds, computer services, 
equipment and automobiles, as well as the Venture Bookstore 
and Media Center. 



Advent Christian Ministers Pension Plan 

For more than 50 years the pension plan has provided life 
insurance benefits for pastors and missionaries. More than 
30 years ago, the plan was expanded to include a retirement 
savings plan. Pension members' funds are independent of any 
other funds, are invested wisely and continue to grow each 
year. 

Advent Christian Tithing Association 

The Tithing Association exists for the purpose of informing 
and teaching Advent Christians of the biblical directive to give 
to God's work. This theme will become an integral part of 
our Strategic Planning Process and the Association will play a 
major role in this effort. 



United Ministries 

United Ministries is the income received from churches giving 
to Penny Crusade and tithing. Thirty percent of this money is 
sent to the regional offices to support ministries in each region. 
The remaining 70% is distributed to ACGC ministries accord- 
ing to the budget set by the Executive Council. 



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Department of World Missions 



Convinced of the imminent return of our Lord, Jesus Christ, 
and believing in His command that "this Gospel of the King- 
dom will be preached to the whole world as a testinwny to all 
nations and then the end will come " (Matthew 24: 14), Advent 
Christians formed the American Advent Mission Society with 
the urgent task of fulfilling Christ's command. This took place 
just five short years following the creation of the denomination. 

The Department of World Missions is a successor to the Ameri- 
can Advent Mission Society as a department of the Advent 
Christian General Conference. It oversees and administers 
the missionary advance of the Advent Christian people. What 
began as a fledging work in 1 865 today covers the world, with 
Advent Christians meeting in over thirty countries in the world 
and numbering approximately 50,000 believers outside North 
America. The department provides support, material, sponsor- 
ship of Bible schools and colleges, financial aid in building 
churches and encouragement to our Advent Christian brethren 
worldwide. 

Advent Christian World Missions challenges and recruits 
people for career and short-term missionary service. It is 
responsible for assessing their qualifications and administer- 
ing their work in the field. The Director of World Missions is 



assisted by four Area Directors (Africa/Europe, Asia/Pacific, 
Latin America, and North American Urban/Ethnic Minis- 
tries). It is the department's responsibility to raise funds for 
the support and outreach of Advent Christian missionaries and 
national workers around the world. It assists in three Bible 
schools overseas with more schools being planned. The depart- 
ment provides information and education about our worldwide 
missionary work by providing weekly Mission updates. Penny 
Crusade kits, and visits to churches and conferences, bringing 
a strong missions emphasis. 

Advent Christian World Missions also provides some humani- 
tarian and benevolent relief to deprived countries, congrega- 
tions, and individuals around the world. In North America, 
World Missions reaches out to plant churches among diverse 
racial and ethnic groups through its Urban/Ethnic Ministry pro- 
gram and provides support and encouragement to urban/ethnic 
churches in the United States. 

Above all, the department mobilizes prayer for our worldwide 
mission emphasis to help prepare for the coming of our Lord 
and King. We seek to serve the Advent Christian constituency 
and assist the local Advent Christian church in being part of the 
worldwide outreach as commanded by our Lord. 










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Urban/Ethnic Ministries 



"Convinced of the imminent Return of our Lord, Jesus Christ, 
the Advent Christian General Conference Division of Ur- 
ban/Ethnic Ministries (as part of the Department of World 
Missions) is committed to proclaiming this message of hope. 
Through public meetings, personal contacts, electronic mail- 
ings and other means, our goal is to provide Advent Christians 
with information that will encourage them and enable them in 
their efforts to make disciples 'of all the nations' living here in 
North America as 'that day' approaches." 

My job as North American area director for Urban/Ethnic Min- 
istries is to assist the director of World Missions by "keeping 
tabs" on several dozen Advent Christian churches, missions, 
and fellowships whose purpose statements include a specific 
commitment to inner-city ministry. I'm also charged with the 
maintenance of an Advent Christian outreach to people of an 
ethnicity other than the "traditional" light-skinned, English- 
speaking, native-bom Americans who make up over 95% of all 
the Advent Christians in North America. 

To support these ministries I do three things: 

1 . Visit the urban/ethnic churches as often as time 
permits in order to consult with the pastors and the 
people, and to see for myself how things are going; 



2. Conduct annual urban/ethnic ministries conferences 
at various locations throughout the US and Canada 
to give pastors (and others interested in this type of 
ministry) an opportunity for education, inspiration, 
reflection, and interaction with one another; 

3. Publish a FREE monthly newsletter, available to any- 
one who would like to receive it, containing reports, 
announcements, and other items of interest to the 
general subject of urban/ethnic ministry. If you would 
like to subscribe, contact UEMN News, RO. Box 
23152, Charlotte, NC 28227-0272. You can also call 
1-800-676-0694, ext. 250 or fax (1-704-573-0712), 
or E-mail (jroller(a!acgc.us), or you can leave a voice 
mail message (1-800-713-3326, then 7047829574#). 

I'm also available to speak on urban/ethnic ministries to any 
group, and to answer any questions you have on this rapidly 
growing and changing field of ministry. Call 1-800-676-0694, 
ext. 250 (well in advance, please!) to schedule a visit. 



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Department of Publications 



Convinced of the imminent return of our Lord, Jesus Christ, 
the Department of Advent Christian Publications is commit- 
ted to helping Advent Christian churches publish this message 
of hope. We do this by printing and distributing a variety of 
materials for equipping and encouraging Advent Christians to 
obey our Lord's Great Commission. Our mailroom/printing 
staff do everything from mailing the quarterly Sunday school 
material to printing, binding and shipping Maranatha. 

The Advent Christian News goes monthly to all North 
American AC churches and features information about de- 
nominational ministries made possible by the support of local 
churches. It provides a means for conferences and regions to 
announce upcoming events, and it gives Advent Christians a 
monthly update from the executive director, as he shares his 
thoughts on our vision as a people. 

The Advent Christian E-news offers this same type of in- 
formation on a weekly basis, via the Internet. This service 
enables ACGC to publish vital information instantly, and gives 
readers a means to respond through dynamic links. With a 
simple click on the computer screen Advent Christians can 
now contact the national office or visit the denomination's 
website. To be added to the E-news mailing list, send your 
request to acpub@adventchristian.org. 



Periodicals provide another means of encouraging and equip- 
ping Advent Christians to obey the Great Commission. The 
Advent Christian Witness features articles of testimony, 
examples of disciple-making, and inspirational writing for all 
ages. The Maranatha devotional guide provides daily en- 
couragement through Scripture and comments by a variety of 
Advent Christians. Henceforth is a journal that offers in-depth 
discussion in areas of theology, history and hermeneutics. 
Prayer and Praise gives a monthly list of prayer requests and 
praises for answered needs of Advent Christian missionaries in 
particular. While each periodical has its own focus and reader- 
ship, together they share a common goal of encouraging and 
equipping Advent Christians. To subscribe to any of ACGC's 
periodicals, call 800-676-0694, ext. 242. 

Advent Christian Publications also engages in special projects, 
such as the Advent Christian hymnal, Hymns of Heritage and 
Hope; Dr. David Dean's history of Advent Christian world 
missions, "Who Will Go for Us?"; and the re-recorded CD, 
"Maybe Today." Until the Lord comes. Advent Christian Pub- 
lications will use these and other means to help encourage and 
equip Advent Christians to prepare the world for his return. 



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Department of Church Relations 



Convinced of the imminent return of our Lord, Jesus Christ, 
the Department of Church Relations assists churches in 
understanding denominational activities and helps local 
congregations to be Great Commission and Great Command- 
ment churches. The director is charged with two basic objec- 
tives, which are to share information concerning programs 
of General Conference and to develop sources of funding 
to support its programs. He has the oversight of denomina- 
tional ministries (i.e. Woman's Home and Foreign Mission 
Society, Student Commission, etc.), sponsoring the events on 
the Calendar of Observance, is program chairman for special 
events (Pastors' Conference, General Conference, etc.), and 
promotes United Ministries, the shared fund-raising campaign 
between Advent Christian General Conference and each of 
the five regions. 



local church (i.e. SonLife, Mission America, Intimate Life, 
Church Communication Network, etc.). The director represents 
the denomination to these ministries and shares information, 
which is beneficial to our church. He meets with the Denomi- 
national Prayer Leaders Network on an annual basis and with 
other groups, such as Christian Stewardship Association, as his 
schedule will allow. At the last meeting of the National Prayer 
Committee, he was issued an invitation by the chairman to 
become a member. 

Several new roles have been assigned to Church Relations by 
the new Executive Director: designing the new prayer room at 
the general office, writing the weekly IF Team updates, review- 
ing all the conferences' reports, churches' reports and ministers' 
reports. 



Through the Calendar of Observances, we provide promo- 
tional materials for the local church to use in ministering to 
their congregation. Every year we offer materials for Denomi- 
national Prayer Emphasis, Penny Crusade, Days of Prayer 
(National Day of Prayer, Days of Prayer for World Evange- 
lism), Stewardship, Women's Sunday, Pastor Appreciation 
Day, and Christmas in October. With all of the other events, 
(Urban Ministries Sunday, Church Growth Sunday, Publica- 
tion Sunday, Youth Sunday, Christian Education Sunday, etc) 
an effort is made to promote them at least once every trien- 
nium. Also, the department works with our associate members 
to aid them in their promotion among our churches. 



We continue to administer the New Church Builders Union, 
a joint effort by union members and our Advent Christian 
churches, which offer grants to churches planning to build new 
structures. Over the years this fund has provided finances to 
over 78 churches to aid in the construction of new structures. 

The director of Church Relations provides leadership in pas- 
tors' retreats; speaks at revivals, camp meetings, conferences, 
and regional meetings. He is often called upon to fill pulpits, 
speak at church homecomings or anniversaries and answer 
questions concerning General Conference. 



Over the years we as a denomination have develop partner- 
ships and endorsed ministries to strengthen the work of the 




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Tam Buchanan 



The word "imminent' 
about to occur." 



Convinced of the immi- 
nent return of Christ, the 
Department of Women's 
Ministries for our Advent 
Christian Denomination is 
ahve, well, and seeking to 
continue the work until he 



The word "convinced" is 
defined in the dictionary 
as: "to believe, to feel sure 
of or to be persuaded." 
is defined as "likely to happen soon, or 



With our denominational roots firmly established in this teach- 
ing, it is natural that a heart for evangelism should follow. The 
women of the Early Advent Christian church caught this vision 
quickly, and the first Women's Mission Society was founded 
in July 1 897. With God's blessing, the six-member "starter 
group," led by Sarah K. Taylor in Friendship, Maine, has blos- 
somed into over 1 00 societies that are active in spreading the 
"Gospel of the Kingdom," both at home and abroad. 

All of our Women's Home and Foreign Mission Societies are 
united together under the acrostic of WHFMS. This title con- 
tains three key words that relate to our statement of purpose. 

Women: We are women ministering to women. This includes 
reaching out to those who have needs, providing fellowship, 
encouraging spiritual growth, listening, and supporting each 
other as friends. We seek to minister to the whole person, 
which includes the physical, emotional, mental, and most im- 
portantly, the spiritual aspects of one's life. WH&FMS seeks 
ways to unite our women in service, to develop leadership 
among our women, and to support the ongoing mission of our 
churches by mentoring the next generation. 

Home: This word brings up many warm images of a very 
dear place in our hearts. Women are all about our homes and 



families. "Home" brings out our nurturing side, and we seek 
to educate our women concerning our Biblical responsibilities 
as Godly wives and mothers. This word also represents our 
commitment to the spiritual needs in our neighborhoods, com- 
munities and our homeland. We vigorously support these works 
with our prayers and our monetary gifts, and we encourage the 
giving of our time and talents to home mission works. 

Foreign: For many of the early years, our Society shouldered 
the total responsibility for our India mission work. Through the 
years, as the number of our Societies has increased, our vision 
has never wavered. As the denominational mission work has 
expanded, our commitment to reaching the world for Christ 
remains a motivating factor for our groups. From our simple 
beginning we have been committed to outreach evangelism, 
and to educating ourselves and others about our missionaries, 
their needs and activities. Our ladies pioneer various efforts 
in our local churches that support many ministries on foreign 
soil like "Christmas in October" and our monthly Prayer and 
Praise publication. 

We read in Matthew 24:44, "Be ready, because the Son of Man 
will come at an hour when you do not expect him." Verses 45- 
46 continues with this question and statement, "Who then is the 
faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge 
of the servants in his household to give them their food at the 
proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds 
him doing so when he returns." Therein is our vision and our 
challenge in Women's Ministries, that he would find us faithful 
and busy in his service when he returns. 

"...Even so, come, Lord Jesus. " Revelations 22:20 



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Our History 

William Miller 

and the Early Phases of the Advent 

Movement 

Part 3 



Address delivered at the biennial meeting of the 
Advent Christian General Conference y 

June 26y 1932, Campground, Plainville, Connecticut 



by Orrin Roe Jenks 



Last Days 



William Miller died in December 1849. The five years from 
1844 to the time of his death were years of decline and in- 
creasing feebleness. The first part of the period was devoted 
to lectures in churches, attending conferences, and correspon- 
dence. 

In Albany, New York, in April 1845, a conference of Advent 
believers was held, attended by a large number of the leading 
ministers who had been associated with Mr. Miller. At this 
history conference, the condition of the cause was studied and 
discussed, a statement of faith was prepared and published, 
and a plan for future work was formulated. 

The statement of faith reaffirmed the belief of the delegates 
in the near advent of the Savior and the evangelical faith. The 
plan for future work called for activity on the part of all, espe- 
cially in preparation to meet the Lord by holy living. 

The majority of the Advent believers were pleased with the 
action taken at the Albany conference, but others were greatly 



displeased, and this led to the advocacy of various doctrines 
which tended to divide and disrupt. 

After attending a conference in Boston, and a visit to Port- 
land, Maine, where he preached to large audiences, Mr. Miller 
retired to his home in Low Hampton. He considered it his duty 
to make a personal statement to the Christian public, inasmuch 
as he had been the author of the movement which apparently 
had ended in disappointment, and in disaster to some. This 
"Apology and Defense" he dictated to Sylvester Bliss, and 
it was published in a tract of thirty-six pages by Joshua V. 
Himes. 

The Defense shows that two hundred ministers had embraced 
his views, six thousand had been converted from "nature's 
darkness to God's marvelous light," the result of his personal 
labors alone. More than seven hundred infidels had aban- 
doned their unbelief for the blessed hope. Five hundred public 
lectures had been associated with him in preaching the near- 
coming of Christ. 
In the autumn of 1845, Father Miller, as he was now called. 

Advent Christian Witness - May/June 2005 



21 



visited New York City, Philadelphia, and many towns in Ver- 
mont, lecturing and laboring to stabilize the work. A digest of 
his messages is expressed in his words: 

"1 would exhort my Advent brethren to study 
the Word diligently... Avoid everything that shall cause 
offense. Let your lives be models of goodness and pro- 
priety. Let the adversary get no advantage over you. We 
have been disappointed; but disappointments will work 
for our good, if we make the right use of them. Be faith- 



Miller wrote 

confession of 

error 

May 2, 1844 



1844 
Brigham Young 
became leader of 
Morman Church 
after murder of 
Joseph Smith 



17 It II a t\ a a 
-1 




S.S. Snow 
advocated "Day 
of Atonement," 
Oct. 22, as date 

of Christ's 
return 

July, 1844 



1844 
Charles Goodyear 
was granted patent 
for vulcanized rubber 




sermon was preached by Mr. Himes from Acts 26:6-8, "Why 
should it be thought a thing incredible to you that God should 
raise the dead?" The services lasted for three hours. And 
then the valiant warrior was laid to rest in the little burying 
ground near Low Hampton. On the tombstone these words are 
inscribed: 

"At the appointed time the end shall be." 
WILLIAM MILLER 

Died 

December 20, 1849 

in the sixty-eighth year of his age. 

"But go thy way till the end be, for thou shah rest, and stand in 

thy lot at the end of the days." 

An Appraisal of William Miller 



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IS lb 


20 


1 


22\23 


7 


28 


^1 30 




Miller also 
favored Oct. 22 
for 2nd coming 

Oct. 6, 1844 



1844 
Texas became a 
U.S. territory 




THE GREAT 
DISAPPOINTMENT 
Adventists gathered 
at Ascension Rock to 
await Christ's return 

Oct. 22, 1844 



1845 

First hypodermic 

syringe entered 

the market 



ful. Be vigilant... Avoid unnecessary controversy and 
questions that gender strife. Be not many masters; all 
are not competent to advise and direct. God will raise 
up those to whom he will commit the direction of his 
cause. Be humble, be watchful, be patient, be persever- 
ing. And may the God of peace sanctify you wholly, and 
preserve you blameless unto the glorious appearing of 
the great day of God and our Savior Jesus Christ." 

In January 1848, the loss of eyesight came. In the autumn 
of 1849 his health failed entirely. In his home on the farm at 
Low Hampton, in the presence of his family with his inti- 
mate friend and co-worker by the bedside, on the twentieth 
of December, he peacefully fell asleep in Christ. The funeral 

22 

Advent Christian Witness - May/June 2005 



Various opinions have been held in regard to this remarkable 
man. In his lifetime he was called by his enemies a monomaniac, 
a fanatic, a liar, a speculating knave, a deluded old fool. 
But now, after the passing of nearly a century since he was here 
on the stage of human history, sober inquiry is seeking a proper 
estimate of the man and his work. It is believed that the following 
brief appraisal will stand the test of the most careful scrutiny: 

1. He was a man of absolute sincerity and honesty. For the first 
five years of his ministry he met his personal expenses and 
traveling costs from his own funds. In Canada, where he was 
on a lecturing tour, a woman placed two half-dollars in his 
hand, which was all the money he received previous to 1836. 



2. He was a devoted follower of the Lord Jesus. I quote from a 
letter of Miller's written in 1834: 



version. "The Bible now became my chief study...! searched it 
with great delight." 



"Give me Jesus and a knowledge of his Word, faith in his 
name, hope in his grace, interest in his love, and let me be 
clothed in his righteousness, and the world may enjoy all the 
high-sounding titles, the riches it can boast, the vanities it is 
heir to, and all the pleasures of sin; and they will be no more 
than a drop in the ocean. Yes, let me have Jesus Christ, and 
then vanish all earthly joys. What glory has God revealed 
in the face of Jesus Christ!... In him all power dwells. He is 
the evidence of all truth, the fountain of all mercy, the giver 
of all grace, the object of all adoration, and the source of all 
light; and I hope to enjoy him to all eternity." 




Conference of 
Advent believ- 
ers held. The 
condition of the 
cause and plan 
for future work 
was discussed 

April, 1845 



William Miller 
dictated "Apology 
and Defense" that 

was published in 
a tract of 36 pages 

Summer, 1845 



Father Miller, 
as he was now 
called, visited 
NYC, Philadel- 
phia and VT to 
stabilize the 
work 

Fall, 1845 



In his Creed, Article XVI, he says: "I believe that before 
Christ comes in his glory, all sectarian principles will be 
shaken, and the votaries of the several sects scattered to the 
four winds; and that none will be able to stand but those who 
are built on the Word of God." 

Again: "I am more and more astonished at the harmony and 
strength of the Word of God... Let us be determined to live and 
die on the Bible." 

His lectures, sermons, articles, letters, and all are saturated 
with the Word of God. 



4. He was a great winner of souls. All the preaching 
of Mr. Miller had for its object the reformation, the 
regeneration of the hearer. His aim was to convert 
the unsaved. He loved the book of Daniel; and in that 
book he had read: "They that be wise shall shine as 
the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn 
many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever." 

There are thousands now awaiting their reward of 
whom this preacher of righteousness will be able to 
say: "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoic- 
ing? A re not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ 
at his coming?" 



1 



1845 

Stephen Perry 

invented the 

rubber band 




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1845 

Elias Howe 

produced sewin| 

machine with a 

tight lock 

continuous 

stitch 



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Feb. 23, 1846 
Liberty Bell 
tolled for last 
time to mark 

George 

Washington's 

birthday 



1846 

First recorded 
baseball game. 

Alexander 
Cartwright's 
Knickerbockers 
lost to NY Base- 
ball Club 



1846 

Dr. William 

Morton first 

used anesthesia 

for tooth 

extraction 






Such words can only spring from the heart of one who is in fel- 
lowship with God, who has been with Jesus and learned of him. 

3. He had a passionate love for the Word of God. He thus 
writes of his attitude towards the Bible at the time of his con- 



Helpers and Hinderers 

Of helpers, we may mention: 

1. Churches and pastors. For a decade or more it was a move- 
ment in the churches — Baptist, Episcopal, Methodist, Con- 
gregationalist, Presbyterian, and Christian. Several hundred 
able, scholarly, godly pastors, and thousands of holy men and 

Advent Christian Witness - May/June 2005 



23 



women gave wholehearted and enthusiastic support to the 
movement. 

2. Joshua V. Himes. He was the remarkable publicity man, 
who was able to found and maintain papers, publish books and 
tracts, and send broadcast millions of pages carrying the good 
news of the kingdom of God. 



large a great heritage. William Miller and his fellow workers 
brought to the forefront of Christian teaching, the blessed 
hope — the doctrine of the appearing of the great God and our 
Savior Jesus Christ. Their emphatic insistence upon the com- 
ing of the eternal kingdom of God was but the resurrection 
of a vital gospel truth, which today is preached with power in 
every part of the earth. 



Mr. Himes came in for his share of misrepresentation and 
abuse, but of him, Mr. Miller writes: "I cannot here withhold 
my testimony to the efficiency and integrity of my Brother 
Himes. He has stood by me at all times, periled his reputation, 
and by the position in which he has been placed has been more 
instrumental in the spread of these views than any other ten 
men embarked in the cause." 

Of hinderers, we may mention: 

1. The denominational and secular press, in many cases, 
misrepresented, maligned, and opposed the work. This is sad 
in view of the fact that in practically every place where Mr. 
Miller delivered his lectures there followed a revival in which 
there were many additions to the churches. 



And we must not forget that at the same time that Mr. Miller 
was preaching the coming of the Lord, such men as George 
Storrs were proclaiming the good news of life in Christ. And 
these two doctrines — the coming of the Lord and life in 
Christ — place before us the goal of a world in which moral 
evil is ultimately to be destroyed. The late Joseph Parker of 
the City Temple in London, in speaking of the destruction of 
evil says, "And by destroying evil I do not mean locking it 
up by itself in a great moral prison which shall be enlarged 
from generation to generation, until it becomes the abode of 
countless millions of rebels; but its utter, final and everlasting 
extinction; so that at last the universe shall be without spot or 
wrinkle or any such thing — the pure home of a pure 
creation."'!}' 



2. Fanaticism. Although it did not appear in any marked 
degree until after 1843, yet it was part and parcel of the same 
brand that did injury to the reformation in the time of Luther, 
and which brought disrepute upon the adventual preaching of 
the eloquent and remarkable Edward Irving. 



Our Heritage 

Out of this movement there has come to the 
Advent Christian people and to the church-at- 



1847 

Abraham Lincoln 
took seat in U.S. 
House of Repre- 
sentatives and 
became known 
for opposition to 
slavery 




January 1848 

Gold was 
discovered in 
California at 
John Sutter's 

sawmill 





Miller Chapel 
built 

1848 



March 1848 

Wyatt Earp 
was born 



William Miller 
died 

December 1848 




July 1848 

First Women's 

Rights Convention 

was held. Organized 

by Lucretia Mott and 

Elizabeth Cady 

Stanton 



1849 

Walter Hunt 

invented 

safety pins 



24 





Advent Christian Witness - May/June 2005 



(editorial continued from page 3) 
The building of the local church and its ministry also 
requires a framework upon which it can be built. Jesus 
made it clear in his response to Peter in Matthew 16:18 
that the church would find its foundation to be the person 
and nature of Christ. While building the spiritual church 
is different than building a physical building, there are 
some amazing similarities. One thing's for sure, to build 
an acceptable church (spiritual) or building (material) 
one must follow the blueprints. For the believer, that's 
got to be God's Word. 

Looking at a set of blueprints can be a scary task, es- 
pecially if you do not know a few things about reading 
a blueprint. For example, you should only read what's 
on the blueprint and never assume anything. A careful 
examination of a blueprint can reveal some interesting 
insights to the building process. For example, the build- 
ing process is done in steps. Some steps precede other 
steps in the overall process of building the building. The 
same is true for the church. Some things are fundamen- 
tally more important than other things when it comes to 
building the church and must be tackled first. 



One thing's for certain, the church is not a democracy. 
God's will is not something we vote on, but rather it is 
something we recognize as it is revealed through the 
leaders that God has raised up in the church. Where have 
we gone wrong? In my opinion, we have missed the one 
thing that makes all of this work according to the plans — 
Trust. We must trust the Lord of the Church that he will 
guide us according to the plans, and we must trust the 
leaders that God has raised up in the church. 

According to the plans, God has raised up elders who 
teach (1 Tim. 3:2) and elders who administrate the church 
(1 Tim. 5:17) and some that do both. He has given us dea- 
cons who wait on tables (Acts 6:1-7, serve) and don't want 
to administrate and teach. Jim Collins, in his tremendous 
book, "Good to Great," identifies the fact that compa- 
nies that move from good to great are led by trustworthy 
leaders. In addition, the company trusted them to lead. 
Could this be the time for the church to began to identify 
leaders who are trustworthy (not an official board) and 
allow them to lead as God leads them? I, for one, think it 
is. How about you? 



One such thing is leadership. When it comes to building 
the church one must ask whether or not the Bible pro- 
vides a blueprint for how leadership should be done? In 
this the Bible is crystal clear. In essence, the church is to 
be led by godly leaders who meet the biblical standards 
for leadership, rather than led by a group of people who 
are elected. 

Don't think for a minute that I'm not challenged by this 
thought. I have grown up in our denomination, which 
functions according to a congregational style of gov- 
ernment in the local church. I've done my best to work 
within this framework of governance but I've also always 
believed that something wasn't quite right. 

My concerns become clearer when I check the blueprint 
regarding the church. Nowhere in the Bible do we read 
about official or executive boards. Nominating commit- 
tees are not to be found. Leadership positions are not to 
be granted due to popularity or because no one else will 
take them. Deacons aren't expected to make elder-type 
decisions, but this is unavoidable in a church that has no 
elders. Elders (viewed as a shepherd in 1 Pt. 5:1-2) are 
called to lead the sheep and not the other way around. 
Too many pastors have entered a meeting of the official 
board in fear and trembling, hoping that what God had 
laid upon their hearts won't be "shot down" by the sheep. 



A careful look at the text in Acts 6:1-7 reveals that the 
people brought a need to the attention of the leaders, but 
it was the leaders who made the decision for the church. 
Notice the response to the decision of the apostles to 
have certain people serve the tables (deacons) and others 
to "pray and study God's Word" (apostles). The word of 
God spread and the number of disciples increased rapid- 
ly. Interestingly, there were also priests who joined after 
this time. Could it have been due to the fact that they not 
only met Christ, but they realized they were going to be 
able to do the things God had called them to do? 

One last thought about blueprints might be helpful at this 
point. In order to get finished with your building proj- 
ect, the building under construction has to be approved 
according to the blueprints. Can we truly expect God '^,-- 

to approve of a church that is not built according to his "^ 

blueprint? Could it be that we have missed out on much 
of the blessing and growth that God intended for the 
church because we have moved away from the blueprint 
and built our own version of the church? In the past, God :^ 

has revealed himself to the church through godly lead- 
ers. The truth seems to be that we have inserted our own 
framework and expected God to bless it. What would 
happen if we give the church back God and let him run 
it?* 

Dr. Thomas "Sam" Warren II is pastor of West Jax 
AC Church, Fla., and serves as recording secretary of 
ACGC's executive council. 



Advent Christian Witness - May/June 2005 



25 



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Advent Christian Witness, May/June 2005 







By Libby Harren 



My mother is not a person that you will ever read about in a histor^ 
book. She didn't invent anything notable or discover any^gpfrcurS. 
However, the legacy she leaves behind is just as worthwhile to many 
as the ones that receive accolades and a wards j^^leaves offspring, 
friends, and a church family who loveA|^fSaa-w6rld that is better 
cause she spent time there. ^-^"^^1^^ ^^^ 



My mother's lovcfor hep 



oDvious ana sne \a 



ber as a child getting somewt 
there. She would inevitably si 



She spent 
hours and hours 
at that piano, croon- 
ing tunes from the 
hymnbook 




f^M 



^fu 



•<( WHFMS HONOR ROLL SOCIETIES )>• 



2004 



A ppalachian Piedmont 



Pocahontas 
Virginia 
W. Virginia 



Beaver Creek, Ferguson, N.C. 

Berea, Colletsville, N.C. -Macy Coffey 

Boone WHFMS, Boone, N.C. 

First, Concord, N.C. - Johnsie M. Braswell Circle 

Fellowship, Taylorsville, N.C. 

First ACC, Hickory, N.C. 

Central, Lenoir, N.C. - Faye Messick Circle 

Central, Lenoir, N.C. - Ruby Winkler Circle 

First ACC, Lenoir, N.C. - Hattie Steele Circle 

First, Morganton, N.C. 

Shiloh, Monroe, N.C. - Seena Helms 

Tabernacle, Lenoir, N.C. - Mary Cottrell 

Adria, N. Tazewell, Va. 

Princeton ACC, Princeton, W.Va. - Mary Gilbert 

Waynesboro, Waynesboro, Va. - Mary Schooler 
Lone Star ACC, Clifton Forge, Va. - Annie Gardner 

Elmore Memorial, Charleston, W.Va. - Helping Hands 



Central Missouri Valley Brays, Iberia, Mo. - Evening Circle 

Villisca, Villisca, Iowa - Evening Circle 

Prairie States Aurora ACC, Aurora, 111. 

ACC, Prophetstown, 111. 

North Central Magnolia ACC, Evansville, Wis. - Helpers Union 

Chetek ACC, Chetek, Wis. - Mary and Martha 



Ohio 



Rockbridge ACC, Rockbridge, Ohio 



Eastern 



Conn. & W. Mass. Faith Community, Windsor, Conn. 

Torrington ACC, Conn. - Barbara Connell Mission Soc. 



International 



Faithful Friends, Beebe ACC. Stanstead, Quebec 
Danville WHFMS, Danville, Quebec 



^f. 



< 



WHFMS HONOR ROLL SOCIETIES 



> 



20*04 



Maine 



Heritage 



Bangor ACC, Bangor, Maine 
Simonds ACC, Simonds, NB, Canada 
Friendship ACC, Friendship, Maine 
Goodwins Mills, Dayton; Maine 



Ada Woodworth Mem. 



Oak Hill Bible Church, Oxford, Mass. 

Hope Evang. Com., N. Dartmouth, Mass.-Anamacs Womens Min. 



Maranatha 



Northwood AC Church, Northwood, N.H. 



Southern enc 



Georgia 



South Carolina 



Florida 



Banner Chapel, Benson, N.C. - Mattie Beasley Society 

Barbour's Chapel ACC, Four Oaks, N.C- Dona Harrison Circle 

Stones Creek ACC, Benson, N.C. 

Stones Creek ACC, Benson, N.C. - Young Ladies Auxiliary 

Fayetteville ACC, Fayetteville, N.C. 

First ACC, Four Oaks, N.C. - Annie H. Barbour 

Lees Chapel, Four Oaks, N.C. 

Garner ACC, Garner, N.C. 

Hollandale ACC, Spring Lake, N.C. - Betsy Parker Circle 

Potters Hill ACC, Pink Hill, N.C. 

United ACC, Wilmington, N.C. 

Hohon Chapel ACC, Soperton, Ga. 
Brunswick ACC, Brunswick, Ga. 
Minton Chapel WHFMS, Kite, Ga. 

Berea ACC, Smoaks, S.C- Docia Grimes Circle 

Creekside ACC, Charleston, S.C. 

Hartsville ACC, Hartsville, S.C. 

Hickory Grove, Saluda, S.C. - Annie Yarborough 

Grace AC Church, Walterboro, S.C. - WHFMS 

Ridgeland ACC, Ridgeland, S.C. 

Bixler Memorial , Dowling Park, Fla. - WHFMS Circles (2) 
West Bay ACC, Panama City, Fla. 



Western wwbc 



Fountain Community Church, Bellingham, Wash. 



1 



Dr. Thomas S. Warren IFs new book 




"... In this book Sam Warren challenges us all to go to the Scriptures for our spiritual under- 
standing, specifically concerning the nature of mankind and the final destiny of both saved 
and lost. ... He then leads us through the Bible as he carefully examines in context the most 
pertinent passages on these themes. It is a pleasure to recommend this book." 



(Edward William Fudge, Author of The Fire That Consumes.) 



I..I.II...I.I.I....II.I..I...I 



00004343 12/2005 
UNC Chapel Hill Library 
Serials Dept 
CB# 3938 Davis Librarv 
ChaDelHilINC 27514 



-DIGIT 275 



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■te/August 2005 



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Witness 



Volume 53, Issue 4 

www.adventchristian.org 

1-800-676-0694 

Editor 
Keith Wheaton 

Assistant Editor 
Jan Thomas 

Contributing Editor 
Tom Warner 

Proofreader 
Kathy Wheaton 

Women s Ministry Editor 
Pam Buchanan 



Advent Christian 
General Conference 



Julia Brock Missions Secretary 

yVorldMissions@adventchristian.org 
Nancy Broolis Exec. Director Secretary 

ExecDirect@adventchnstian.org 
Pam Buchanan Women's ministries coordinator 

Womensministries@adventchristian.org 
Shirley Efird Bookkeeper 

Trena Efird Missions Secretary 

WorldMissions@adventchristian.org 
Helen Hagler Printer/Mailroom 

Amy Johnson Bookkeeper 

Donna Martin Printer/Mailroom 

Harold Patterson World Missions Director 

WorldMissiom@jadventchristian.org 
Tina Pressley Venture Bookstore 

Venture@adventchristian. org 
Mary Ritchie Church Relations Secretary 

MaryRitchie@fldventchristian.org 
John Roller Urban/Ethnic & Resource Center 

JRoller@adventchristian.org 
Dawn Russell Venture Bookstore 

Venture@adventchristian. org 
Richard Russell Church Relations Director 

ChiirchRelations@adventchristian.org 
Dawn Rutan Information Services 

DRiitan@adventchristian.org 
Jan Thomas Assistant Editor 

Jan Thomas@acgc. us 
Ron Thomas Executive Director 

ExecDirect@adventchristian.org 

Keith D. Wheaton Publications Coordinator 

Keith@flcgc.us 



International Missionaries 



Area Directors: 
Scott Dombrosky — Latin 
America/Short-Term Missions 
sdombrosk}'@comcast. net 
John Gilbert — Team Leader 
j()lin(a '99pliis 1 . org 
Frank Jewett — Europe/Africa 
f;ewett(a niegalink.net 
John Roller — Urban/Ethnic 
J roller(a adventchristian.org 
Clio Thomas — Asia/Pacific 
cliowestva(cv,msn.com 



Lilieria 
Abraham David 

Advent Christian Church 
P.O. Box 4669 
Monrovia, LIBERIA 
advent_christian(a;yahoo.com 

Mulay.siu 

Victor and Nesamony 

Devadason, 

Beaulah Margreat Devasa- 

hayam 

No. 24 Jalan Pandan 12 

Taman Dato Hormat 42500 

Teluk Panglima Garang 

K. Langat, Selangor 

MALAYSIA 

aclicmalaysia@yahoo.com 

James and Mercy Devadas- 
son 

20 Jalan Intan 4 

Taman Intan 

86000 Kluang, Johor 

MALAYSIA 

adventchrisliandu hotmail. 

com 

Ruth Devairakkam 

36 Jalan 14/2 
Taman Sri Kluang 
86000 Kluang, Johor 
MALAYSIA 
riilhad\vnt(a vahoo.com 



Philippines 

Grant Aldridge (7/27) 

PO. Box 223 

9000 Cagayan de Oro 

Philippines 

aldridge(alhome.philcom.ph 

Jeff and Penny Vann 

(7/14 & 5/12; Elizabeth, 
10/24; Connie. 3/29; 
Naomi, 10/11) 
134 Essex St. Apt. B 202 
S. Hamilton, Mass. 01982 
Jeffvann@ acgc.iis 
pennyvann@,acgc. us 



National Missionaries 

Memphis 

Francis and Lyne Ssebi- 

kindu 

2175 Can^ollwood 
Cordova, TN 38018 
fssebikindii@ worldnet. 
att.net 

Mexico 

Juan "Martin" Camacho 

Valdez 

c/o John Gilbert 
PO. Box 9019 
Calexico,CA 9223 1-90 19 

Miguel and Maria Mena 

c/o John Gilbert 

PO. Box 9019 SF 168 

Calexico.CA92231-90I9 

Croatia 
Desire Ahola 

PO. Box 29 
Nova Gradiska 
35400 CROATIA 
a_cc_euroeonference 
@hotmail.com 

Ghana 
Simon Bissah 

A.C.C. 

PO. Box 604 

Nsawam, Eastern Region 

Ghana 

simbissah@yahoo. com 



India 

Earl and Martha Wright 

(4/16 & 10/17) 
C/O Ruth Warren 
471 Trice Cemetary Rd. 
Thomaston, Ga. 30286 
denmhvCcihotmail.com 

Ernie Schache( 1/29) 

16 Coventry Way 
Torbay, North Shore City 
Auckland 1311 
New Zealand 
vjschache(a)xtra. co.nz 



Kenya 
Simeon Rianga 

P.O. Box 68 

Nyamarambe-Kisii, Kenya 

New Zealand 
David Burge 

12 Bettina Place 

Manurewa 

Auckland, NEW ZEALAND 

dbiirge@slingshot. co.nz 

South Africa 
Nathan Fernando 

14 Dick Muller Drive 
Norkem Park 1620 
S. AFRICA 2028 
nathankf@excite. com 

India 

Jeeva Kiruban 

Box 3 164 

Guindy, Chennai 600 032 

China 

All correspondence should 
be channeled through the 
missions office. 



,\Jvciil Chrislian Wiiiiess (ISSN #0741-4302) is published bimonthly by the Advent Christian General Conference of 
America, 1 4W) 1 Albemarle Rd., P.O. Box 23 1 52, Charlotte, NC 28227. Subscription rates in the United States and Canada: 
One year $15.00. Single copy $2.75. Overseas rate, one year $18.00. Periodicals postage paid at Charlotte, NC. and ad- 
ditional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to .AdvenI Christian Witnes.s, P.O. Box 23152, Charlotte, 
NC 28227. Printed in Canada. 

As the official publication of the Advent Christian General Conference, the AdvenI Chrislian Witness publishes the 
teachings of the Advent Christian Church and promotes the task of disciple-making both in North America and around the 
world. The views expressed in this magazine are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those of the editor or 
the Advent Christian General Conference. Member: Evangelical Press Association. Copyright V 2005. 



I From the Editor 




Kathy and I were both stunned when the "lady" pulled 
up next to us and flashed an obscene hand gesture 
our direction. We were driving at a reasonable speed, 
we weren't in the passing lane, and no other car could 
be seen on the road. No offense could be found in my 
driving. That, and the fact that we were on a highway in 
rural Vermont made her aggressive behavior very hard 
to understand. 

Then the rude woman's car passed and we saw her 
bumper stickers: "I'm pro-choice and I vote," "Against 
Abortion? Don't have one!" and "Keep Your Laws Off 
My Body!" Instantly, we knew our pro-life bumper 
sticker was the cause of her indignation. 

I'm not a big fan of bumper stickers. The ones that try 
to be relevant usually seem trite or simplistic. Political 
stickers can be unnecessarily divisive. And we're not 
in the habit of trading cars each year, which means I'll 
be looking at anything I stick on my car for a long time 
- faded, peeling and sucking dry what little resale value 
my car might have. 

So, it was against my natural inclinations that Kathy 
convinced me to put the pro-life sticker on our car. I 
consented because I shared her passion about the issue, 
and our home state was in the middle of a battle over 
parental notification. Besides that, the car was ten years 
old with 150,000 miles, and the sticker performed a 
useful function by covering one of the larger rust holes. 

For the next decade or so after that incident, I refrained 
(Continued on page 23) 



Contents 


i 
\ 

3 


Editorial 


American Christianity 

Rev. Clio Thomas 


4 

1 


True Freedom 


9 


Chapter One of True Freedom 
Oliver North 




Good Battle, Wrong Flag 

Larry Knowles 


14 j 


God's Global Promise 

Rev. Hal Patterson 


J 


Lifted Up... Down in the Dumps 

Josh Tate 


18 ' 


Poems 


20 


Adrian and Joyce Shepard 


'i 


A Word From Our President 


24 1 


Glenn Rice 


ij 

'.i 


Twisted Scriptures 

Tom Warner 


25 


As Children 


26 


Dawn Russell 


i 


In My Father's Lap 

Pam Buchanan 


28 ' 


Where In the World Are You 
Going? 

Allison Hall 


30 




3 




IICAN 




by Clio Thomas 



Rev. Clio Viomas was the pastor of the West Valley A. C. Church in Seattle, 
Washington for several years. Currently he is serving the denomination as 
the Asia Pacific Area Director He also holds leadership roles in meetings 
with pastors, conferences and other leaders of the western region. 



F 



our years ago — right after 9/11 — 1 went on a teaching trip to 
Africa with Frank Jewett. Since then, my concerns over certain 
issues regarding the North American Church have only intensified. 



I do not intend to be critical of either the Church or of America. I 
love both very deeply, and I trust that it is out of this deep love that I 
am able to write and to be understood. My travels to Africa and Asia 
have been a sweet but jarring experience. What God is doing all over 
this planet is exciting — sometimes almost overwhelming. But what 
he is doing around the world, and how he is doing it, cause deep ap- 
prehension about our own methods, faith and practice. Let me ex- 
plain in four areas of concern. 



Advent Christian Witness - July/August 2005 




Worship 



The concern is on what 
happens to us in worship 
rather than on what we are 
declaring about God... 



First, I am concerned about 
what is happening in what 
we call worship. The word 
"worship" has the root meaning 
of the declaring of worth. The 
reality is that everyone wor- 
ships someone or something. 
That which is most important 
in our lives is what we worship. 
What we worship is whatever 
dominates our thinking, our 
allegiances, our commitments. 
What has happened in much of 
the American church in recent 
years is that worship has become 
an activity — an activity we do 
once a week, often at 11 o'clock 
Sunday mornings. 

Furthermore, worship has been 
marginalized even more by the 
focus on music, and whether or 
not we "like" the music. Even 
within the confines of music, 
for many folk the emphasis is 
on what we "get out of it." The 
problem with this is that it turns 
worship around. Worship is now 
dictated by what we like or don't 
like and what we get out of it. If 
worship is what the Bible calls 
the declaring of the worth of 
God, it is not what we get but 
what we give to him. 



The concern is on what happens 
to us in worship rather than on 
what we are declaring about 
God — to whom all of worship 
should be directed. This is not 
merely on Sunday at 11, but 
in every moment of our lives. 
Otherwise, we begin to worship 
ourselves rather than the great 
almighty transcendent God, who 
has chosen to come to us in all 
of his love and grace. Presently, 
in many of our churches, God is 
formed in our image rather than 
us allowing him to form us in his 
image. This being the case, it's 
no wonder that so little change 
takes place in our lives. We 
are looking for what pleases us 
rather than what changes us. 

Marva Dawn writes in one of 
her books on worship, "Wor- 
ship should kill us." What she is 
saying is that worship should kill 
our selfishness, our arrogance, 
our sinfulness, and resurrect 
within us the holiness of Christ. 
She mentions the time someone 
was leaving after Sunday wor- 
ship and told the pastor, "That 
was a wonderful sermon." His 
response was to the point, "That 



remains to be seen." Much of 
real worship will take place the 
following six days. 

Another aspect of this whole 
matter on worship that is a 
concern is all the "I's, me's, and 
my's" found in many of our 
contemporary songs. When we 
are doing corporate worship, it 
should be all about him and us; 
not him and me. In our times of 
corporate worship we need to 
be brought together as a great 
community of believers of all 
ages who are celebrating God's 
greatness and goodness together, 
and who are being changed by 
the radical surgery of his Word, 
which is "quick, and powerful, 
and sharper than any two-edged 
sword." What all of us need is 
an encounter with the great and 
mighty God. Without this we 
walk in darkness, doing our own 
thing, living fitful and meaning- 
less lives. God wants to infuse 
himself into his people through 
the power of his Holy Spirit, and 
this can happen only when we 
encounter him in new and fresh 
ways. 



Advent Christian Witness - July/August 2005 




The church 



Acknowledge 
your role in the 
Body of Christ 
and give it your 
very best. 



My second concern was 
captured in a comment 
made by a young Japanese pastor 
on my first trip to Japan. He said, 
"There is a crack in the Church." 
I asked, "What do you mean by 
that?" He answered, "We don't 
know what the Church is. We 
don't have a clear theology of the 
Church." He was right! This is 
true of church members gener- 
ally, but my observation is that 
it afflicts us in North America 
more than in most places. Much 
of this stems from a "Marlboro 
man" view of American indi- 
viduality ... "if I can't do it myself, 
it's not worth doing." 

The heart of the pastor in Amer- 
ica is torn in pieces by people 
who take the Church lightly. It 
is a heresy. We are not individu- 
als. We are a Body. If anyone can 
find anything different than that 
in the Word, let them speak up. 
Otherwise, acknowledge your 
role in the Body of Christ and 
give it your very best. There are 



all-too-many Christians who 
don't care about being a part of 
the Body of Christ. They claim 
individual and personal salvation 
... but that does not cut it. The 
rest of the Body is rent and torn 
by their spasmodic connections, 
stubborn actions and careless 
habits. The cause of Jesus suffers 
as people flit in and out of one 
church after another because 
they are "free individuals." We 
are not free individuals! On the 
contrary, we are a community of 
believers made free by the grace 
of Christ, built on the founda- 
tion of Christ and knit together 
by his presence. 

One leading contemporary 
theologian, Jurgen Moltmann, 
writes in his book, "The Church 
In the Power of the Spirit," that 
American Christianity is smor- 
gasbord Christianity. People 
change congregations at the 
drop of a hat. They don't like the 
preacher, don't like the music, 
had a falling out with one or 



more people or get tired of going 
to church, so they fly the coop. 
There is no loyalty, no account- 
ability. There is never any rec- 
onciliation, which, incidentally, 
is at the heart of the Christian 
faith. Not to be reconciled to 
one another denies the very faith 
we espouse. Yes, there is a crack 
in the Church! 

Beyond what is happening in 
local congregations due to lone 
ranger Christians is also the 
chasm that exists between us 
and the world Church. To be in 
Christ is to be linked up with the 
Abraham Davids, the Nathan 
Fernandos, the Rowena Baylons 
and the Reggie Christophers 
of this world. The term "global 
economy" has become a catch- 
word these days. Yet, the Church 
of Jesus Christ has always been 
global. This is not new. It is not 
a 20"" or 2P' century phenom- 
enon. Christ is at work reaching 
the whole world through his 
Church. We need to be aboard. 



Advent Christian Witness - July/August 2005 




Civil religion 



We must always know 
where being a patriot and 
being a Christian begins 
and ends. The two dare 
not become the same. " 



My third concern is with 
"civil rehgion." What I 
mean by this is the growing 
connection between Christian- 
ity and patriotism. Just after 
9/11, someone came to me and 
said "Why isn't the American 
flag displayed in our church 
building?" My response was, 
"The church is here to worship 
the one and only God, not a 
country." Now, let me be very 
clear about this. We have every 
right and duty to be proud 
citizens of this land and to hope 
and wish nothing but the very 
best for it and its people. I get 
tears in my eyes every time I 
sing or hear "The Star-Spangled 



Banner," but my knees buckle 
when 1 think of what we owe 
the God of our eternal salvation. 
There is a difference. 

Martin Niemoeller was speak- 
ing in Seattle in the early 60s and 
was telling about how the Nazi 
flag and emblems began to ap- 
pear in the established church in 
Germany in the late 30s and ear- 
ly 40s. Before long, the church 
had sold-out to Hitler, and all of 
us know the result. Niemoeller 
called the appearance of the 
flag in the church buildings the 
"abomination of desolation," and 
warned against that sort of thing 
in America. We must always 



know where being a patriot and 
being a Christian begins and 
ends. The two dare not become 
the same. 

Sometimes the greatest patriots 
are the greatest critics. Consider 
Dietrich Bonhoeffer: he loved his 
God and his country so much 
that he dared to take a stand. 
Some of American Christianity 
has become so closely aligned 
with patriotism that is scares me. 
Politics needs to be informed by 
one's Biblical faith in God, not 
Biblical faith in God informed by 
politics. 



Advent Christian Witness - July/August 2005 




Commercialization of 
Christianity 



Those of us in the 
northern hemisphere 
need to get back to ba- 
sics of discipleship and 
costly commitment to 
Jesus Christ as Lord. 



My fourth concern for the 
North American Church 
is the commerciaUzation of 
Christianity. To see this at work 
all you have to do is visit a lo- 
cal Christian bookstore. A new 
book, Christianity Incorporated, 
exposes the marketing ploys of 
recent years such as exploiting 
the current interest in "self- 
worth" and "spirituality." These 
are often couched in Christian 
terminology but the end-result is 
anything but Christian. They are 
self-help programs rather than 
Christ-centered calls to com- 
mitment and devotion to Jesus. 
These are often used as ways to 
make people more effective for 
their companies or for enhancing 
their own financial and personal 
resources. In addition, one does 



not have to look very far to see 
how Christianity is exploited, 
even by companies in the busi- 
ness of supplying materials for 
churches and believers. Writ- 
ers and musicians are pushed 
by publishers and producers to 
produce more and more, partic- 
ularly when their names are well 
known. Thankfully, a few art- 
ists have rebelled, for instance, 
the late Rich Mullins. Seminars, 
tapes and videos roll out by the 
hundreds, competing with each 
other for the time and dollars 
of Christians. TV evangelists 
market their "Christian cruises." 
Activities and travels of Chris- 
tian leaders are often financed 
through corporate sponsorships 
whose logos are splashed all over 
brochures. 



Another book that has shaped 
my thinking in recent months is 
by the historian Phillip Jenkins. 
In his book, "The Next Christen- 
dom," Philip Jenkins looks at the 
Church as a historian rather than 
as a theologian, and suggests 
that the future of the Church will 
be shaped by what happens in 
the southern hemisphere. That 
is where God is doing some of 
his greatest work in our day. 
Theologian and missionary 
Lesslie Newbigin suggests that 
the western church has grown 
weak and flabby. Those of us in 
the northern hemisphere need to 
get back to basics of discipleship 
and costly commitment to Jesus 
Christ as Lord. 



8 



In Jesus' letter to the church at Philadelphia he says that he has set before them an open door. My own 
opinion is that we still have an open door before us to change our culture and to help reach the world 
with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We may have as long as a decade to enter that door and cooperate with 
Jesus in reaching this world with his grace and love. But, we must follow the admonition of the writer to 
the Hebrews when he wrote, "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus." We must throw off everything that hinders 
and entangles and run with perseverance the race that is set before us. 

I am hopeful about the future, that the American Church will rise with the worldwide Church and de- 
clare the Good News to a world in desperate need of the saving power of the Gospel. But, to do that, we 
must get our priorities straight and join the King of Kings and Lord of Lords in fulfilling the great com- 
mission by following the great commandment. Ii' 

Advent Christian Witness - July/August 2005 



TRUE 
FREEDOM 



By Oliver North 



Chapter One 



THE PROVEN 

PATHWAY TO 

FREEDOM 



Lord, I seek you with all my heart, 

with all the strength you have given me. 

I long to understand that which I believe. 

You created me in order to find you; 

you gave me strength to seek you. 

My strength and my weakness are in your hands: 

preserve my strength, and help my weakness. 

Where you have already opened the door let me come in; 

where it is shut, open at my knocking. 

Augustine of Hippo (354-430) 




There I lay, writhing in the North Carolina 
sand. I couldn't feel my legs. Piercing pain 
gripped my back, as though someone had 
skewered me with a railroad spike. How could this 
happen... wow of all times? 

I wanted a medic and some quick relief. 

But God was about to give me something better. 
In my pain-fogged panic, I had no way of knowing 



that my whole life would turn on this moment. 



TUG-OF-WAR WITH GOD 

God has protected and blessed me all my life. But 
for more than thirty years I failed to acknowledge 
His active, personal interest. Through all those 
years, He patiently coaxed me toward the pathway 
to true freedom (I can see that now), but I persist- 

Advent Christian Witness - July/ August 2005 



9 




ed in blundering down my 
own path in determined 
ignorance. 

As a child growing up in 
the Catholic Church, 
I never doubted 
God's exis- 
tence, and 
I learned 
to respect 
Him 
deeply. 
From a 
distance. 

Years later God showed that He was closer to me 
than I was willing to admit. My friends and I were 
driving through heavy snow late at night on a 
weekend ski trip. It was 1964, my first year at the 
naval academy. Everyone had fallen asleep... in- 
cluding the driver. I jerked awake just in time to 
see the headlights of the oncoming truck. Then we 
hit. 

The carnage was terrible. One of my friends was 
killed, and the other three were badly mangled. In 
comparison, my injuries were relatively minimal — 
head injuries, crushed vertebrae in my lower spine, 
broken nose, broken jaw, broken leg, and one dam- 
aged knee. But my surgeries and recovery kept me 
down for months. 

I fought my way back. Sure, I gave God His 
credit. During my stay at the naval hospital, 
I made it my daily habit to wheel into the 
hospital chapel to pray. And God healed me 
so completely, that four years later I won 
the brigade boxing championship. But my 
relationship with God was still one-sided— I 
sent up my requests, and He took care of 
me. I simply wasn't listening to what He was 
trying to tell me. 

Prayer is like a two-way radio, which is 
designed both to transmit and receive. But 
my radio was stuck on "transmit." I thought, 
more than anything else, that my own 
dogged persistence had brought me back to 

10 

Advent Christian Witness - July/August 2005 





PRAYER.... 


♦ 


is like a two-way radio, which is 




designed both to transmit and 




receive 


♦ 


is freely flowing, two-way conversa- 




tion with a Person 


♦ 


doesn't even require words 


♦ 


is when I'm consciously with God 


♦ 


is when I look to Him with an attitude 




of dependence 


♦ 


involves intimate, heart-to-heart com- 




munion with God 


♦ 


is the voice of faith.. .and the pathway 




to true freedom 


♦ 


makes a difference inside us 


♦ 


makes our hearts and minds become 




attuned to God's heart and mind 


♦ 


liberates us to live as we were de- 




signed, in intimate relationship with 




God 



health and allowed me to finish my academy train- 
ing. I was determined to become a marine, and I 
was sure no obstacle was insurmountable. 

God stuck by me through my year in Vietnam, as 
I patrolled the so-called demilitarized zone. On 
several occasions, men standing right next to me 
were killed, while I was either untouched or back 
in action in very short order. 

God also saved me from another kind of disaster. 
In my zealous commitment to the Marine Corps, 
I almost threw away two of His greatest gifts to 
me— my marriage and my family. 



In the early 1970s I found myself doing what I en- 
joyed more than anything else— training marines 
in Okinawa. When I wrote to my wife, Betsy, that 
I would be missing my second Christmas in a row 
with her and the kids, she took longer than usual 
to respond. In her next letter, she wrote, "I've had 
enough. I want a divorce. Here's the name of my 
attorney." 

I tried to tell myself that I didn't care, that my work 
was the only truly important priority. But the hon- 
est part of me— the part that hurt so desperate- 
ly—wouldn't buy it. The internal struggle took its 
toll. I ended up in the hospital, my exhausted body 
racked with bronchitis and my tormented spirit 
mired in clinical depression. I reluctantly submit- 
ted to psychiatric care and then marriage counsel- 
ing, gradually recovering and ultimately reconcil- 
ing with Betsy. But even through those excruciat- 
ing days, I still imagined that my progress and my 
healing were the results of my own hard work. 

One early promotion followed another, only be- 
cause I was a good officer. Or so I thought. 

All the while, God was preparing my wake-up call. 



DIVINE INTRUSION 

By 1978, 1 had known Lieutenant Colonel John 
Grinalds for about three years. He was on the fast 
track through the ranks. Top of his class at West 
Point and highly decorated from his two tours 
of duty in Vietnam, he had gone on to become a 
Rhodes Scholar and White House Fellow and to 
earn a Harvard MBA. 

Oh, and there was one other characteristic that set 
Grinalds apart from the rest. He was one of those 
"born-again Christians." Whatever that meant. 
Along with all the usual training and administra- 
tive manuals on his desk, he kept a Bible. Right 
there in plain sight. And he read it. 

Grinalds was assigned as a battalion commander 
to the Second Marine Division, based at Camp 
Lejeune, and he honored me by asking me to 
come along as his operations officer. I was happy 




to hitch my wagon to his 
rapidly rising star. In my 
new role, I was third in 
command, responsible 
for the training and 
preparation of a 
two-thou- 
sand-man 
unit for 
deploy- 
ment to 
the Medi- 
terranean. 

One 

morning, about two weeks before we were due 
to deploy, our battalion was conducting a train- 
ing exercise. I had just adjusted the antenna on an 
armored amphibious vehicle and, spurning the lad- 
der on the side, jumped to the ground. 

Big mistake. 

Instant memories of the 1964 car accident flashed 
through my pain-racked mind. I had reinsured 
my back in exactly the same place. Aside from 
the wish for unconsciousness, my one overrid- 
ing thought was, I just blew my chance to deploy 
with these men. I knew from having experienced a 
similar reinjury in a 1973 parachute accident that 
I was due for at least two weeks of hospitalization 
and bed rest. 

I lay writhing on the ground. Couldn't feel my legs. 
Lost control of my bladder. 

Before a medic could arrive, John Grinalds showed 
up. Next thing I knew, he was putting his hands on 
my legs and saying, "I'm going to pray for you." 

Pray? I thought. I'm lying here in agony and you 
want to pray! 

But what I said aloud was, "Uh, Colonel, don't you 
think we could just do this the usual way? You 
know, get the helicopter, go to the hospital...?" 

But Grinalds ignored me. He called out "Lord 
Jesus Christ, You are the Great Physician. Heal this 

Advent Christian Witness - July/August 2005 



11 



In that very instant the 
pain disappeared. Soon 
the feeling returned to 
my legs. When I was 
ready, Grinalds 
helped me to 
my feet. 

Aston- 
ished, 
I came 
out with 
one of the 
most inane utterances of my 
life. I said, "Thank you, sir." 

At that, Grinalds grabbed me by my jacket and 
pulled me up to his face. "Don't thank me," he said. 
"Thank your Lord and Savior. He is the Great Phy- 
sician. You have to turn to Him" 



EMBARKING INTO FREEDOM 

That incident was the two-by-four God used to 
break through my thick-skulled resistance. I had 
it in my head that freedom meant taking care of 
myself, forging my own path through the jungle 
of life's challenges. I knew that God was there to 
help, but I expected Him to follow my lead. What 
I came to realize was that He had been leading all 
along— and that 1 had not done well at following. 
I had been placing my faith in myself, yet He had 
been telling me over and over, "You'll only be truly 
free when you know and trust Me." 

This realization profoundly humbled me. During 
the six months of our Mediterranean deployment, 
I participated in Bible studies with Grinalds and 
managed to read the Bible cover to cover. I learned 
that I had known a lot about God, but 1 had not 
known Him personally. 1 had sent a lot of orders in 
His direction, and He had even deigned to "obey" 
some of them. But I had been living in servitude to 
self; now 1 was discovering true freedom, living as 
1 was designed to live — in relationship with God. 



I had grown up believing in the vending machine 
concept of prayer— you put in your quarters, and 
you get back your selection, all neatly wrapped 
and sealed. But now I've come to understand that 
prayer is freely flowing, two-way conversation 
with a Person. In fact, prayer doesn't even require 
words. 

When I'm consciously with God, that's prayer. 

When I look to Him with an attitude of depen- 
dence, that's prayer. 

Prayer at its best involves intimate, heart-to-heart 
communion with God, with or without words. 

My friend Jarod came to this realization the day he 
slammed his thumb in his car door. The door was 
locked, his right thumb was stuck— sending frantic 
pain signals to his brain— and his car keys were in 
his right pocket. As he gingerly reached across his 
body with his left hand, digging for his keys, his 
whispered plea was simply, "Lord." Both he and 
God knew exactly what he needed at that moment. 
More words were superfluous. 

John Bunyan, seventeenth-century author of 
Pilgrim's Progress, wrote, "The best prayers have 
often more groans than words." 



FAITH AND TRUE FREEDOM 



■111 i 

ceptoffaith— a 1 



Closely related to prayer is the concept 
concept that is widely misunderstood. Some 
people think faith is a power we somehow stir up 
within ourselves, and when we somehow muster 
enough of it (however much "enough" is), God re- 
sponds and answers our prayers. But according to 
the Bible, faith is an attitude that acknowledges my 
utter powerlessness— my need to depend on God 
(see John 15:5; 2 Corinthians 12:9). 

Prayer is the voice of faith... and the pathway to 
true freedom. 

But that won't make much sense unless we un- 
derstand freedom, which can be conceived in a 



12 



Advent Christian Witness - July/August 2005 



variety of ways. There's the physical freedom that 
comes with a healthy body and independent move- 
ment. There's political freedom, which has always 
meant so much to me. But we in the United States 
of America enjoy political freedom only because 
our nation's founders had appropriated something 
even more basic, which for the purpose of this 
book we will call true freedom. 

True freedom is the opposite of arrogant self-de- 
termination. It is submission to God's will. When 
I enthrone my own will and pursue my own "best," 
1 severely limit myself. When I obey God, I open 
myself to His unlimited blessing. Jesus Himself 
said that if you obey His teachings, then "you will 
know the truth, and the truth will set you free" 
(John 8:32). 

How can you learn to trust God enough to sub- 
mit yourself to His will? Only by growing to know 
Him. Only by living life in conversation with Him. 
Only through a lifestyle of prayer. Your Creator 
and Lord wants to relate to you as Friend and 
Father. He made you for one primary purpose — to 
live in intimate relationship with Him. When you 
fulfill that purpose, you find true freedom. 

Prayer makes a difference inside ms— through 
prayer our hearts and minds become attuned to 
God's heart and mind, and we begin to think what 
He thinks and desire what He desires. 

It's been said that if you've only seen an eagle in 
a cage, you've never seen an eagle. An eagle was 
meant for the wide skies and the cold winds of the 
heights. Just as the eagle was meant to cast himself 
freely upon the wind, so we were meant to cast 
ourselves on God, the Mighty One whose hand 



Prayer may be your way out of captivity. Shar- 
ing his personal experiences and the engag- 
ing stories of others, Lt. Col. Oliver L. North 
USMC (Ret.) uses scriptural truths to illustrate 
the powerful liberating effects of prayer. 



unrolled those skies like a 
parchment. We were not 
designed to be enslaved 
to self, but to soar freely 
according to His pur- 
pose and design. 

We are 

God's, 

and only 

He can 

sustain 

our 

flight. 



PRAYER PRINCIPLE #1 

Prayer liberates us to live as we were designed, 
in intimate relationship with God. 1h 



TRUE 

FREEDOM 



A T I N G P O ■ 



i 




OLIVER 

N_qRTH 

and BRIAN SMITH 



Advent Christian Witness - July/August 2005 



13 



GOOD BATTLE, 



By Larry Knowles 



Imagine receiving a mail flyer one day that asked you to add your name to a full page ad in the local pa- 
per. The ad's purpose was to make a public statement about our society's need for: 

1. Restoration of school prayer 

2. A commitment by parents to teach their children that faith and perseverance is honoring to God 

3. A commitment on the part of married couples to strengthen their marriage and live sacrificially 
for each other 

4. A return to moral values of personal integrity and character in life and work 

5. Renewed consideration of the plight of the poor, and generous giving to their needs 

6. Repentance over the plague of abortion rampant in America 




Advent Christian Witness - July/August 2005 



My response to such an invitation would initially 
be one of interest. Something inside me would say, 
"Hey, this sounds good. Someone's taking a stand 
for the Lord!" 

But what if, at the end of the flyer, the author 
signed off as a member of "Concerned Muslims 
for America." My en- 
thusiasm would cool 
quickly as I muttered 
an "oops." 



road map to integrity, but the very righteousness 
of Christ credited to us. And while genuine faith 
in Christ steadily leads to a more virtuous life, that 
virtue comes from being freed from the power of 
sin and empowered by the Holy Spirit — not by 
better law keeping or character development. 



What makes us and our message 
different is the stunning uniqueness 
of Jesus... 



In one sense my 

initial enthusiasm would be understandable. We're 
all weary of the decline in righteousness and truth 
in our nation. It's natural to be encouraged by the 
sound of a call to arms in the pursuit of personal 
and societal virtue. 

But my initial reaction also reveals a common 
slip we make as Christians: that of seeing the res- 
toration of public morality as a top priority for the 
church. 



In other words, what 
we have in Jesus is "... 
not a way for bad peo- 
ple to become good, 
but for dead people to 
become alive" (a good 
quote from a preacher whose name I omit out of 
respect, after a moral lapse tarnished his career). 

Saul of Tarsus, the premiere zealot for traditional 
values, eventually learned the same thing. "Christ 
is the end of the law so that there might be righ- 
teousness for everyone who believes" (Romans 
10:4). "Neither circumcision counts for anything, 
nor uncircumcision, but a new creation" (Gal. 
6:15). 



What we have in Jesus is " . 
not a way for bad pepole to 
become good, but for dead 
people to become alive." 



Important as a "return to values" is, it can't be the 
highest of our ideals and the driving force behind 
our engagements. It's not the main point. If all we 
have to offer the world is a way to develop more 
"integrity" 
and "char- 
acter" in 
our families 
and our 
culture, 
then we're 
really no 

different than other religions (who, actually, often 
do it better than we do). 

The church's main point isn't so much a point as it 
is a person: Jesus Christ. What makes us and our 
message different is the stunning uniqueness of 
Jesus, or as Jonathan Edwards calls it, the "diverse 
excellencies" found in him and through him. 

What we have and what we offer in Jesus is not (at 
first) a way to become moral people, but pardoned 
people. What we have and offer isn't (at first) a 



There's no doubt that we live in an age of moral de- 
cline, and that Christians need to take hard stands 
against the growing darkness. But let's remember 
to wave the right banner in the process. Zeal for 

things like truth, values, integrity and even 
••• God, just can't be our primary rallying cry 

— not in a religiously diverse society using 

the same terms. 



Let the first and clearest proclamation of the 
church be this: the incomparable Christ, who 
makes right and 



empowers for right, 
who believe. 'fr 



all 



Mr. Larry Knowles , /r. 
has been the executive 
director of Vernon Ad- 
vent Christian Home 
since 1 983. He and his 
wife Joanne have four 
children: Kristen, Larry 
HI, Katie, and Eli. 



Advent Christian Witness - July/August 2005 




Qm 




QJa 




®sp 




by 
Rev. Harold Patterson 

Director of World Missions 
Advent Christian General 
Conference 



"Think Global!" leaped off the front page of the magazine at me as I 
walked into a bookstore recently. A little farther along, in the business 
section, there was a book entitled. Think Global Strategies for Todays 
World. After returning home and turning on the TV, I was struck by a 
package shipping service slogan that said, "Ship Globally! How we can 
help" As I reflected on these experiences all in one day, I realized that 
God had been "thinking globally" from the beginning of time, and that we 
have a global gospel to share with everyone. 

Consider with me for a moment: 



16 



Advent Christian Witness - July/August 2005 



I GoAGMMlFrobkin: 

The Bible says that "all men have sinned and come 
short of the glory of God, there is none righteous, no, 
not one" From the mountains of Tibet, to the sands 
of the Sahara, to rural villages and to mighty cities, 
all men are sinners before God and, as such, lost to 
God's eternal promises. 

The Scripture says that, "God so loved the world 
that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoso- 
ever believeth in Him should not perish, but have 
everlasting life" What a wonderful message to tell 
everybody in the world that God loves them. He 
has loved them from eternity. He cannot love them 
more than he loves them right now. God is a lov- 
ing, compassionate God. 

^ GotfliGlolMlPMivifiaiit 

To meet man's need, God provided his own son. 
The Bible says that Jesus Christ was the provision 
or payment, not for our sins only, but for the sins 
of the whole world. Every man, woman, and child 
that ever lived can be the recipient of God's for- 
giveness if they would only ask. The offer is still 
good today. 



Godte GMNd Ptodanufioiu 

As Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on 
the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of 
sins would be preached in his name to all nations 
beginning at Jerusalem, we are commanded to pro- 
claim God's love, forgiveness, and conditions to all 
men everywhere. 

GodW GMMd Pragrantt 

To share this wonderful news, God has com- 
manded that, therefore, we are to "go and make 
disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name 
of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit, and teaching 
them to observe everything I have commanded you" 
Discipleship is God's program where each believer 
would disciple another believer, who in turn would 
disciple others. Groups of people are to do the 
same — disciple all nations or ethnic groups — as 
our commission. This is what is happening through 
the Advent Christian church around the world. We 



are learning obedience through the great discipling 
commission. As we are going in everyday life, we 
are to make disciples. 

When asked about his return, Jesus would say that 
"this gospel of the kingdom would be preached unto 
all the world, to every nation or ethnic group, and 
then the end would come" Christ's return is tied di- 
rectly to the Great Commission. We are to declare 
that, and then his soon return will be on us. This is 
truly why the time remaining is short. 



John the Revelator, in his Revelation from Jesus 
Christ, takes us to the end of time where we would 
see "a great multitude that no man could count, 
from every nation, tribe, people, and language, 
standing before the throne in the front of the Lamb, 
wearing white robes, and shouting, salvation be- 
longs to our God!" God's Global Program, put in 
operation before the foundation of the world, will 
be successful, with millions — beyond number 
— worshipping him throughout eternity. 



Gotfii CaolMl PMmiMt 

"Whosoever believeth on the name of the Lord 
should be saved, and he that cometh unto me I will 
in no wise cast out" Go6!s Global invitation is for 
everyone to call upon the name of the Lord, claim- 
ing the virtues of Calvary for their salvation. 



"Come unto me all ye that are heavy laden, and 1 
will give you rest" Men, women, and children will 
be lost, not by the great or little amount of terrible 
deeds they have done, but by their refusal to ac- 
cept a lovingly offered pardon of salvation through 
Jesus Christ. 

God offers this to you today. Will you receive it 
today, and participate in God's wonderful blessing 
forever?'!? 



Advent Christian Witness - July/August 2005 



17 







By Josh Tate 



I stood there with a disgusted look on my face as 
a fluid consisting of old eggs, roast beef, rotten 
vegetables, coffee grounds, and what I think was 
two-week-old potato salad ran down the front of 
my Camp Maranatha sweatshirt and collected in 
foul-smelling puddles at my feet. "I hate the dump," 
I murmured to myself as I shook icky gook from 
my hands and removed my soiled sweatshirt. 

The trash bag, which I had been hefting, was one 
of those 45-gallon monsters that service the camp's 
kitchen. It had been ensconced amongst its slimy 
brethren in the mysterious depths of the camp's 
trash trailer for nearly two weeks. From experi- 
ence I knew that when you are tossing a bag of that 
size, you must muster all of your strength. Then in 
one smooth motion, pull it from its berth and hurl 
it towards the dumpster. This is the best way to 
minimize contact with the bag and gain sufl^cient 
momentum to carry it all the way to its destina- 
tion. This I had learned over the course of many 
successful dump runs, and I had executed exactly 
18 



IIFT 

OovA 
tothe 

the same maneuver on many occasions without in- 
cident. But this time was different. When I pulled 
the bag from its slimy, dripping nest, the jagged 
end of a broken broom handle caught against it 
- gutting it like a fish. It was too late. The bunched 
muscles in my arms, back, chest, and thighs had 
already committed to the throw, and with all of 
my strength I brought the compromised bag up to 
chest level. At that very moment the coffee filters 
and spaghetti, which a second earlier had been 
pressed against the opaque inner lining of the trash 
bag, spilled forth. The space within the trailer was 
too cramped and mobility too constricted to avoid 
being covered with the stuff. 



I was in a dark mood as I finished unloading the 
trash trailer. I couldn't escape the sickly sweet trash 
smell, which had soaked into my clothes. I thought 
about all the people who had so carelessly thrown 
things into that trash bag, and I secretly blamed 
them for what had happened. It didn't make sense, 
I know, but I did it anyway. 



H 



■-< 



DUP 



On the drive home the smell emanating from my 
sweatshirt, which was wadded up on the pas- 
senger side floorboards, forced me to roll down 
my window. As the road climbed its way towards 
town and back to camp, the Lord reminded me 
of Romans 5:8 that says, "But God demonstrates 
his own love toward us, in that while we were still 
sinners Christ died for us," and also 1 John 2:1-2 
that says, "My dear children, I write this to you so 
that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we 
have one who speaks to the Father in our defense 
- Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the aton- 
ing sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but 
also for the sins of the whole world." 

I thought about how God came down into the 
trash trailer of this world and willingly and inten- 
tionally took my sins upon himself - the whole 
stinking mess of my life, which, if it were written 
out on the pages of this magazine, would cause 
me to slink off in shame and never be heard from 
again. I thought of all those secret shameful things. 
All the harm I've inflicted on others. All those 
evil thoughts I harbored and acted upon. All of 
it spilling forth from my life like a ruptured trash 
bag, and running over Christ. Him stinking of me. 
Stinking of my sin. Not only my sin however, but 
the sin of the whole world. The whole landfill! And 
he didn't do it because it was his job, or because he 
had to. No, he did it because he loved us. He loved 
us even though we were an oozing, putrid 
sack of sin. He didn't try to minimize 
contact with us either, but came 
down among us. He clutched us to 
him in a loving embrace, and became 
trash in our place. What a God we serve! 

Lord, I am so unworthy of your sacri- 
fice on the cross, and I am amazed that 
you love me. I owe you everything, and 



I offer you the meager sum of who 1 am. Take me. 
Lord and use me. It is my greatest desire to serve 
you, and there is even satisfaction in getting dirty 
in your service. Ir' 







'] ' ' 1 "..' " m 


immfumjl 



Josh Tate is the Assistant Director of Camp Maranatha 
in the San Jacinto Mountains of Southern California. 
He graduated from Houghton College with a ynajor 
in Business Administration. Prior to going into full 
time ministry at the camp, Josh was a police officer 
for the City of St Albans in Vermont. He and his wife, 
Sarah, have a two-year-old son, Bowden, and are 
expecting another baby in July. 



r 



19 



Wjmww04;mv. Adrian Shepard 
retired from the full-time pastoral ministry. At 
his farewell ceremony he shared a poem he ' k, 
had written for his wife, Joyce, years earlier 
Joyce responded with her own verse. 




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Now Available!! 

Order your copy from Venture Bookstore, 800-6760694, ext 251 



Go and make c(tsci>l0s of 
all nations, ttaptiirngtiiom in 
itit aamo of tfio Father and of 
theSonandoftlieHolySprrrt" 



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I'll INSHK.N,; sroKY ,„ ONI 

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} TO AVOUl I, MISSIONS 

BVOR DAVID A DEAN 



(Editorial continued) 

from applying another sticker to any vehicle. Some- 
times I was tempted by a political cause, or when a 
humorous message caused me to laugh and made me 
think about sharing the fun. There's no doubt that the 
world deserves to be notified that my three children are 
honor students at Wheaton Home School Academy. 
Nevertheless, my bumper remained pristine ... until 
now. 

I've begun hawking bumper stickers, and you shouldn't 
sell something you don't believe in. So my 1987 BMW 
now sports a blue and yellow sticker with a very brief 
message: "Maybe Today." 

Recently, I've been impressed with the impact Jesus' 
second coming had on our Advent Christian ances- 
tors. Convinced of his seemingly imminent return, 
early Adventists endured extreme hardship in order to 
get the word out. Some literally sold the farm to fund 
publication efforts. Expecting Christ's soon return 
— and Judgment Day — motivated them to live pure 
and holy lives. Everything they did was flavored by the 
overwhelming consideration of their Savior's sudden 
appearing. 

One hundred fifty years later, I'm not convinced Advent 
Christians still operate with quite the same mindset. 
But we should, if we remember that Jesus is coming 
back unexpectedly ... maybe today. 

Nothing else can change my outlook more dramatically 
than knowing Jesus will surely return ... maybe even 
today. All of life's hardships will be ended ... maybe 
today. My personal struggles and feeble attempts to live 
like Jesus will be over ... maybe today. Opportunities to 
invest my time and resources in kingdom work will be 
forever lost ... maybe today. 



"Maybe Today" was once the heartbeat of Advent 
Christians. Our denomination was founded on the 
once unpopular belief that Jesus would return unex- 
pectedly to establish his eternal kingdom. Our mission- 
ary efforts, publication efforts, and evangelistic efforts 
were all driven by a desire to spread the message of 
hope before it was too late. This is the priceless heritage 
our forebears gave us, and it's the greatest legacy we 
can leave the next generation. The only lasting hope is 
found in Jesus' Second Coming. 

So I've ordered a big bundle of "Maybe Today" bumper 
stickers. Everyone at the Triennial Convention was 
given a sample, and I'd like to sell one to every other 
Advent Christian in North America. I believe noth- 
ing will have more impact on our lives than a constant 
reminder that Jesus is coming again ... maybe today. 
Think of how it could alter the decisions you make, the 
activities you pursue, and the habits you nurture. 

Someone asked me why I didn't include the phrase 
"Jesus is coming back ..." on the stickers. For one thing, 
too many words make it hard to read. But, more im- 
portantly, I like the fact that it may raise a question. If 
someone becomes curious and asks, "What's 'Maybe 
Today' supposed to mean?" it will provide a great op- 
portunity to share the message of the Lord's return and 
how they can be ready. 

So far, "Maybe Today" hasn't been adopted as the 
official motto of A. C. General Conference. But I'm 
convinced it should be the "prime directive" governing 
every Advent Christian's heart. Jesus is coming back, 
and that Day will bring the fulfillment of all our hopes 
and dreams. Every tear and sadness will be forever for- 
gotten. Maybe todaylU' 




To order your "Maybe Today" bumper sticker, please call Venture Bookstore at 1-800-676-0694, ext. 251. Cost is 
75€ each. 

Advent Christian Witness - July/August 2005 



23 




». 



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Advent Christian 

General Conference 

Interim President 

Rev. Glenn Rice 



A WORD FROM 
OUR PRESIDENT 



What's in a phrase? According to an article I read, the answer 
is "everything." That may be disputable with some phrases, 
but one phrase in particular conveys a rather harmful mes- 
sage. The words "I could care less" can be rather harsh, es- 
pecially when these words are used in the church. When 
people in the church stop caring for others, we are in a heap 
of trouble. It happened at Corinth, and it can happen in the 
church today. 

Paul expresses his concern about the Corinthian Church 
(1 Cor.ll). Called to impact a city of 500,000 with the trans- 
forming power of the Gospel, the Corinthian Christians failed 
to do so because they were preoccupied by caring for them- 
selves. Paul reveals the problems that plagued them: their 
indifferent manner, disregard for the church, and the way they 
humiliated one another. Paul's concerns were centered on the 
practice of the Lord's Supper. When people ate, they shared 
their food only with their friends and not the whole body. 
Some in the church had little and were neglected, while some 
blatantly overindulged! These actions made a mockery of the 
death of lesus. 

Jesus died that people might be reconciled to God. In Christ, 
we become one and are called to live as one in him. This re- 
quires that believers truly care for other people, which is why 
an "I could care less" attitude is disruptive and destructive in 
a local body. What's more, if you could care less you probably 
will care less in time! That outlook is dangerous to the well- 
being of any assembly of believers! 

The Church is called to be a community that cares. This is a 
different mindset from the world around us. Christians must 
have a genuine interest in others - not just a select few - but 
all whom the Lord has called us to love. And this is exactly 
what the world needs to see! 

As Advent Christians we have a tremendous opportunity! 
There are people around us every day who need to know that 
someone cares. Your care may be expressed in one of many 
different ways. It's not how we care that matters so much; it's 
that we care enough to minister to others in Jesus' name. As 
the Holy Spirit works through you, people will not only know 
that you care, they will have the chance to know that God 
cares. May God give you the desire to be a person who truly 
cares!lj' 




criptures 




Now and then I hear a worship leader urge 
everyone in the congregation to raise their 
hands as they pray or sing praises to God. 
Sometimes he may refer to Paul's words in 1 Timo- 
thy 2:8 to support his request: 

"/ desire then that in every place the men 
should pray, lifting holy hands without an- 
ger or quarreling. . ." (ESV). 

Does that mean that there's only one acceptable 
position for prayer and worship? I don't believe 
so. Lifting one's hands was a common posture 
for prayer in the first century. (One way of doing 
that was to extend the forearms with hands about 
chest-height, and the palms up.) But what Chris- 
tians do with their hands during prayer was not 
really Paul's point. To focus on that is to highlight a 
"cultural incidental." By doing that, we'll be con- 
centrating on something that isn't very important 
in relation to the real point of the text. 

It clearly seems that Paul was concerned about two 
things: 

1. Paul wanted the church to make prayer a high 
priority. 

"I desire then that in every place the men should 
pray ..." Just before that, he wrote, "First of all, 
then, I urge that supplications, prayers, interces- 
sions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 
for kings and all who are in high positions, that we 
may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and digni- 
fied in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in 
the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people 
to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the 



truth" (2:1-4). 

Does your congregation regularly take time to pray 
for all kinds of people, in high and low positions? 
Do you pray for folks to hear the truth and be 
saved? Do you ask God to use government leaders 
and police to restrain evil and maintain peace? Do 
you expect God to impact the world by your pray- 
ing? Or, do your prayers only concern things such 
as Aunt Susie's surgery. Grandpa George's gout, 
and asking for clear weather for the church picnic? 
Paul had a world-changing view of prayer, and he 
longed for fellow believers to catch that vision. 

2. He was also concerned that their hands be 
holy hands. 

Wherever one's hands may be during prayer, the 
important thing is that they have not been defiled 
spiritually by recent involvement with sinful activi- 
ties — perhaps especially any activities connected 
to "anger or disputing" (cf. 2:8). 

For example, you shouldn't punch your neighbor 
in the nose before you come to church, or punch 
someone at church. Never use your hand to slap a 
loved one's face, or to make obscene gestures when 
someone cuts you off in traffic. Never take a weap- 
on in hand to harm someone, or to harm yourself. 
And don't use your hands to steal, or to involve 
someone in sexual immorality, etc. 

Hold your hands where you like during prayer and 
worship. Lifting them up is certainly acceptable, 
but not mandatory. Just make sure that they're holy 
hands, i.e., set apart for godly purposes. And make 
sure that you prayl'ir' 



(Tom serves as a chaplain in care centers, and as an assistant pastor with Crossroads Christian Church 
in Boise, Idaho 



things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people 



twist to 



own destruction" (2. Peter j,\6 NKJY 



Break the code 



■<Q(^ ♦^ni •si<f^ K« ♦-fn. ♦□^♦x*, SH^ 
♦^ni^rri >{♦ >?'-:«rrLrrLiic$2o. 2Connthians 3:i7 

CODE 



s = 


A 


K = 


= I 


D = 


p 


iG: 


D 


• 


L 


♦♦♦ = 


R 


rn = 


E 


O = 


= M 


♦ = 


S 


>? = 


F 


■ 


= N 


♦ = 


T 


./vw = 


H 


Q, = 


-- O 


cfe; = 


W 



Crypto-list 




Figure out what each letter really is. Once you have figured out a letter, it remains the 
same throughout the whole list. 

(Hint: look for double letters, patterns in letters, etc.) (I=U) 



Pate 

KLB HKGQ HRGDYCBO EGDDBQ 
XP MVIDKQP, 'KAH VJ KLBB 
GXBQAMG, KLB EBGIKAJIC 
YVO ECBHH GXBQAMG 



: Mymns 

YVO VJ VIQ JGKLBQH 
XADB BPBH LGSB HBBD KLB YCVQP 
CAJK BSBQP SVAMB GDO HADY 
NADY VJ KLB DGKAVDH 



(suopBM d\\i}o §ui>i '§uis puB aDioA Aj9A3 yn '^JOl9 ^M^ uaag 8abh saAg auijAJ 'sjamBj JnQ Jo po^ 'bd 
•U9UIV ss9|a poc) '|nji;nB9g 9q; bdu9luy '99i|2^ jo stj^, Xj^uno^ Ay^ 'j9uuBg p9{§UBds jb;s 9qx :sj9msuv) 




"...Except ye become P.f> (fi ilC' C\)\\6\CA),\fe shall not 
enter into the kingdom of heaven." 



p. ^ ^. that are the sani^ 

^indthetwoflag^^' ^ 






Filf 

till in the missing 


vowels 


to read the Bible verse. 




S 


f th 


S n 


s ts 


b_ 


fr , 

fr 


y__ 

_nd 


w 11 

d. 
John 8:36 



hi<s Mdden message. (Some words may fit more than one 
words left to right. 



1. Cross out all words that ar© 

2. Cross out all words that are 

3. Cross out all words that are 

4. Cross out all words that b@i 



shoe 


freely 


peteto 


gnat 


you 


sweater 


asgl© 


have 


lettuce 


mmw®d 


swmg 


chocolate 


bee 


staffs 


freely 


snake 


hat 


give 


butterfly 


smile 

(Matthew 10:8) 



^itnvrH|;i ji Lr\j 





n the book, "The Pressure's Off," author Larry 
Crabb, includes a personal illustration that has 
impacted my prayers. He tells a true story of 
being three years old and feeling "big enough" to 
go to the bathroom without assistance. Of course 
this is every mother's dream until the child gets 
locked in the bathroom, as had happened with 
Larry. He completed his "business" just fine, but 
then was unable to unlock the door to freedom. 
Larry reports a feeling of panic came over him as 
he contemplated spending the rest of his long life 
in the bathroom. He writes that his parents and 
probably the neighbors heard his screams. With 
his maternal parent at the bathroom door making 
all the proper inquiries about possible injuries and 
giving instructions for unlocking the door, the pa- 
ternal parent was already on his way to the garage. 
Grabbing the ladder, (of course, the bathroom just 
had to be on the 2"'' floor) he proceeded to enter 
little Larry's "prison" via the window. Larry's dad 
po 

Advent Christian Witness - July/August 2005 



had no problem with his "adult" strength of un- 
locking and opening the bathroom door. Released 
from his prison, young Larry was on his way to 
play with a simple, "Thanks, Dad!" 

Crabb expounds on this incident in his young life. 
"Many of us think this is how the Christian life 
is meant to work. When we get stuck, we should 
do all we can to get free. When that doesn't work, 
then we pray. God will hear our cry, show up, and 
unlock the door to the blessings we desire." 

Can't you just picture us beating on the bathroom 
door, begging for the door to open, even after our 
Father has entered the room? So many times, I am 
so concerned with what I think I need or want, 
which is located on the other side of the door, that 
I miss the beauty and blessing of having my Father 
near. 



This illustration brought a few questions to my at- 
tention. Do I desire the request more than I desire 
him and his presence? Could I be content if my 
Heavenly Father crawled into my "prison" with me 
but did not choose to open the door immediately 
... or ever!? I am sure of the truth of scripture that 
promises ... God will never leave me nor forsake 
me. So my challenge is to crave his nearness more 
than the perceived blessing from outside. What if, 
when my Lord appears in the midst of my crisis, I 
am content with "crawling into his lap" to enjoy his 
comfort and peace, allowing him to decide if and 
when he will open the door. 



As a result, as I grow, I want to place a greater 
desire for his presence at the top of my prayer list. 
"Lord, allow me to come sit with you, even in the 
middle of the storm, and as you bestow upon me 
the blessings of the desires of my heart, 1 will know 
that they are only icing on the cakel" 

Above all else, I desire that "I may know him and 
the power of his resurrection and the fellowship 
of his sufferings, being conformed to his death in 
order that I may attain to the resurrection from the 
dead" (Philippians 3:10-11).* 



For those of us who are parents, we can identify 
with wanting to give our 
children "good gifts." How 
much more our Father 
who is in Heaven wants to 
bestow blessings upon us 
as his children. But as an 
earthly parent, I do realize 
that my desire to give my 
children something spe- 
cial heightens when their 
attitude is one of submis- 
sion. Not many of our 
children have ever told 
us, "Forget the Christmas 
presents this year. Instead, 
let's just enjoy each other 
this year." How refreshing 
that would be to us and 
even more so to our Heav- 
enly Father. 

There have been times in 
my Christian walk when I 
wanted to be on the other 
side of that door so badly 
that I was willing to walk 
through the door, leav- 
ing my Lord behind. In 
my selfish pursuit, I have 
stepped outside of his 
apparent will. As I ponder 
this thought, I am hum- 
bled and grateful for the 
times he has graciously 
kept me in his care even 
though I followed my own 
path. 




Advent Christian Witness - July/August 2005 



29 



Where in the World Are You Going? 



,, by Allison Hall 



">, 



^^Keti^sS:^ 



Uson Hall, daughfet of'pavld and' 
'^w^oHall, grew u^%n/,the Pi im 
\eton7^^a AC C^rch Vie ma) / 'f'-rf, 
ried Chrh^pher HalA pa s to) of the '. v / ' ' 
VillisjLa, loM^mA C Cnurch She has ci 'M''^ 
J^asten W Soc?S^l^or/c and present- f ' . ^ 



U^ work's for aMeni^^mlth AgeiK}' 



\ 






>- 



.^l' 



ff 






y \ 









>r^^!^ 










tea and eating cookie dough. I listened as she dis- 
cussed side effects from her malaria medication. 
I cried as I wrote her a card. I imagined her hold- 
ing hands with God and walking through a sea of 
people with HIV. 

How can I be so proud of her going and yet want 
to make her stay all at the same time? God's got 
her. I know that. I believe that. I want him to have 
her. She is safer with him in South Africa then she 
would be with me in Villisca. She has felt a calling 
there for years. It is amazing how God worked it 
out for her to be there this summer. 

The scary part for her is, she does not know what 
she will face once she arrives. Nor do I know, but I 
do know who those teenage moms will face. They 
will see a blonde American girl with more love in 
her eyes than most have in a lifetime. They will 
see God's fingerprints wherever she touches and 
a peace they cannot describe. They will also see a 
driven, well-defined passion for them to meet her 
Savior. I believe many will see God more clearly 
this summer through her. 

So ... we will miss her. We will pray and look for- 
ward to August when we can hear her stories of 
God and see her pictures of the people he touched. 
I also hope / can share stories with her of God 
touching people. I'm not going to Africa, but I will 
be where God has placed me. 

You will be where he has placed you. We do not 
know who we will face, but we do know who 
people will see when they face us. I hope they see a 
love in my eyes for their Savior. I pray he will allow 
me to show others more of him during the sum- 
mer. 

If you are heading out of the country this sum- 
mer for mission work, may God tightly hold your 
hand, your life, and your heart. May those who he 
brings across your path know him better because 
he spoke through you. And, if you are home for 
the summer, taking part in your daily routine, may 
God tightly hold your hand, your life, and your 
heart. May those who he brings across your path 
know him better because he spoke through you. 
May we all know we are where we are for purposes 
only God knows, but they are still purposes. Our 
calling remains the same, "Love God and love your 
neighbor." 

It really does not matter if your neighbor is in 
South Africa or America. It also does not matter 
where you are. God commands us to love. Trust 
God. Trust his love for you while remembering he 




also passionately loves everyone you meet. Allow 
him to love those around you through you. 

While you love, please say a prayer for Leah, her 
family, and all who are crossing her path and 
yours. She is so gifted and so are you.'u' 

Advent Christian Witness - July/August 2005 



31 



coil mO'€7€rQ0ik fiSi 2S1 



mom 



Pri 



^^: $ 




Body Language 

Did you ever consider an 
encouraging smile or a pat 
on the back to be an act 
of worship? ... we speak 
' les by rolling our 
eyes, grimacing, frowning, 
squinting, or shruggir " 
In this unique study, )in 
Briscoe reveals that there 
are more ways to commu- 
te God's love than just 
with words. 



Women Wh( 



They made a differeu^^ 

a world of sin, pride, f^'tVi- 
lessness, weakness, ra^x^.... 
Women like Eve, Sarah, ?"^ 
Rahab had opportr-'^''^' 
to influence their fcnnmca, 
friends, and masters ... Jill 
Briscoe helps us learn more 
about the qualities that can 
' lelp us make a difference ir 
our world. 




Periodicals Postage Paid #007-740 

1 -6-2 

00004343 12/2005 

UNG Ghape! Hi!! Ubrary 

Serials Dept 

CB# 3938 Davis Library 

Chaoel Hill NC 27514 



i..l.ii...i.i.limli.i..lmiii 







/ I 





i i 







TAT 


International Missionaries 


lA/TTMf CC 


Area Directors: 


Philippines 


India 


V V liiNcub 


Scott Dombrosky — Latin 


Grant Aldridge (7/27) 


Earl and Martha Wright 


V V ^^ ^^- ^L. ^ ^^m^ ^m^ ^m^ 


America/Short-Term Missions 


PO. Box 223 


(4/16 & 10/17) 


Volume 53, Issue 5 

www.adventchristian.org 

1-800-676-0694 


sdomhrosk}'(a),comcast. net 


9000 Cagayan de Oro 


C/O Ruth Warren 


John Gilbert— Team Leader 


Philippines 


471 Trice Cemetary Rd. 


jolm@,99plus I .org 


Lddridge(aihome.philcom.ph 


Thomaston, Ga. 30286 




Russell Carle — Europe/Africa 




dewmlw@hotmail. com 


Editor 
Keith Wheaton 


rkcarleCdimfx. net 


Kimon and Chin Nicolaides 




John Roller— Urban/Ethnic 


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Philippines 


Torbay, North Shore City 


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Auckland 1311 
New Zealand 


Contributing Editor 


On Furlough 




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Tom Warner 


Jeff and Penny Vann 




ermeschache@vsnl. net 


Proofreader 
Kathy Wheaton 


(7/14 & 5/12; Connie, 3/29; 

Naomi, 10/11) 

134 Essex St. Apt. B 202 




(India address) 


Women s Ministry Editor 


S. Hamilton. Mass. 01982 






Pam Buchanan 


Jeffvann(d},acgc.us 








pennyvann@acgc. us 


National Missionaries 






Liberia 


Memphis 


Kenya 




Abraham David 


Francis and Lyne Ssebi- 


Simeon Rianga 


Advent Christian 


Advent Christian Church 


kindu 


P.O. Box 68 


General Conference 


P.O. Box 4669 


2175Carrollwood 


Nyamaramhe-Kisii, Kenya 




Monrovia, LIBERIA 


Cordova, TN 38018 






advent_christian(iiiyahoo.com 


fssebikindu@ worldnet. 


New Zealand 


Julia Brock Missions Secretary 




att.net 


David Burge 


WorldMissions@adventchristian.org 


Malaysia 




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Victor and Nesamony 


Mexico 


Manurewa 


ExecDirect@adventchristian.org 


Devadason, 


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Auckland, NEW ZEALAND 


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Valdez 


dburge(a).slingshot. co.nz 


Womensmimstries@adventchristian.org 


hayam 


c/o John Gilbert 




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No. 24 Jalan Pandan 12 


P.O. Box 9019 


South .Africa 


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Calexico,CA 9223 1-90 19 


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WorldMissions@adventchristian.org 
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MALAYSIA 


c/o John Gilbert 


S.AFRICA 2028 


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P.O. Box 9019 SF 168 


nathankf@excite.com 


WorldMissions@adventchristian.org 




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Tina Pressley Venture Bookstore 


James and Mercy Devadas- 




India 


Venture@adventchristian. org 


son 


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86000 Kluang, Johor 


Nova Gradiska 




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China 


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adventchristian@ hotmail. 


a_c_c_euroconference 


All correspondence should 


Venture@adventchristian.org 
Richard Russell Church Relations Director 


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2 

Advent Christian Witness - Septet 


the Advent Christian General Conference 


. Member: Evangelical Press Association. Copyright © 2005. 


ibcr/Octobcr 2005 







From the Editor 



Contents 




My third boat 

Anything Worth Doing ... 

Some of the best advice I've ever read came from 
a boat-building book. The author, a well-respected 
craftsman and architect, encouraged neophyte 
boat-builders with the words, "Anything worth do- 
ing is worth doing poorly... until you can do it well." 
Looking at the complex shapes and procedures 
involved in building most boats will discourage al- 
most any first-timer. The author's point was simply 
that if a person waits until he can do something 
perfectly, he will never do anything. Practice makes 
perfect. But practice starts with poor attempts. 

(Editorial Continued on page 25) 




Editorial 3 

Celebrate Halloween? 4 

James B. Jordan 

Maybe Today 8 

Homer Easley 

The Fridge 12 

Rev. Russell Carle 

Highlights From 2005 Triennial 
Convention 16 

Pastor David Burge 

Twisted Scriptures 19 

Pastor David Burge 

Too Tight, Too Short, Too Young 20 

Dannah Gresh 

A Word From Our President 24 

Dr. Thomas (Sam) Warren 

As Children 26 

Dawn Russell 

Thoughts and Reflections From 
South Africa 28 

Leah Van Eaton 



Advent Christian Witness - September/October 2005 









::#»4' 




^#7 4 ^ 



>*'*'~'/;.^.:,4 



for SaHs^QF 




B. Jordan 



I 



t has become routine in October for some Christian schools to send out let- 
ters warning parents about the evils of Halloween, and it has become equally rou- 
tine for me to be asked questions about this matter. 



"Halloween" is simply a contraction for All Hallows' Eve. The word "hallow" means "saint" 
in that "hallow" is just an alternative form of the word "holy" ("hallowed be Thy name"). 
All Saints' Day is November 1. It is the celebration of the victory of the saints in union 
with Christ. The observance of various celebrations of All Saints arose in the late 300s, 
and these were united and fixed on November 1 in the late 700s. 



Advent Christian Witness - September/October 2005 



The origin of Ail Saints Day and of All Saints Eve 
in Mediterranean Christianity had nothing to do 
with Celtic Druidism or the Church's fight against 
Druidism (assuming there ever even was any such 
thing as Druidism, which is actually a myth con- 
cocted in the 19th century by neo-pagans). 

In the First Covenant, the war between God's 
people and God's enemies was fought on the hu- 
man level against Egyptians, Assyrians, etc. With 
the coming of the New Covenant, however, we are 
told that our primary battle is against principali- 
ties and powers, against fallen angels who bind the 
hearts and minds of men in ignorance and fear. We 
are assured that through faith, prayer, and obedi- 
ence, the saints will be victorious in our battle 
against these demonic forces. The Spirit assures us: 
"The God of peace will crush Satan under your feet 
shortly" (Romans 16:20). 



arose of portraying Satan in a ridiculous red suit 
with horns and a tail. Nobody thinks the devil re- 
ally looks like this; the Bible teaches that he is the 
fallen Arch-Cherub. Rather, the idea is to ridicule 
him because he has lost the battle with Jesus and 
he no longer has power over us. 

(The tradition of mocking Satan and defeating him 
through joy and laughter plays a large role in Ray 
Bradbury's classic novel, Something Wicked This 
Way Comes, which is a Halloween novel [which 
was made into a movie].) 

The gargoyles that were placed on the churches of 
old had the same meaning. They symbolized the 
Church ridiculing the enemy. They stick out their 
tongues and make faces at those who would assault 
the Church. Gargoyles are not demonic; they are 
believers ridiculing the defeated demonic army. 



The Festival of All Saints reminds us that though 
Jesus has finished His work, we have not finished 
ours. He has struck the decisive blow, but we have 
the privilege of working in the mopping-up opera- 
tion. Thus, century by century the Christian faith 
has rolled back the demonic realm of ignorance, 
fear, and superstition. Though things look bad in 
the Western world today, this work continues to 
make progress in Asia and Africa and Latin Amer- 
ica. 

The Biblical day begins in the preceding evening, 
and thus in the Church calendar, the eve of a day is 
the actual beginning of the festive day. Christmas 
Eve is most familiar to us, but there is also the Vigil 
of Holy Saturday that precedes Easter Morn. Simi- 
larly, All Saints' Eve precedes All Saints' Day. 

The concept, as dramatized in Christian custom, 
is quite simple: On October 31, the demonic realm 
tries one last time to achieve victory, but is ban- 
ished by the joy of the Kingdom. 

What is the means by which the demonic realm is 
vanquished? In a word: mockery. Satan's great sin 
(and our great sin) is pride. Thus, to drive Satan 
from us we ridicule him. This is why the custom 



Thus, the defeat of evil and of demonic powers is 
associated with Halloween. For this reason, Mar- 
tin Luther posted his 95 challenges to the wicked 
practices of the Church to the bulletin board on 




Advent Christian Witness - September/October 2005 



the door of the Wittenberg chapel on Halloween. 
He picked his day with care, and ever since Hal- 
loween has also been Reformation Day. 

Similarly, on All Hallows' Eve (Hallow-Even = 
Hallow-E'en = Halloween), the custom arose of 
mocking the demonic realm by dressing children 
in costumes. Because the power of Satan has been 
broken once and for all, our children can mock 
him by dressing up like ghosts, goblins, and witch- 
es. The fact that we can dress our children 
this way shows our supreme con 
fidence in the utter defeat of 
Satan by Jesus Christ - we 
have NO FEAR! 

I don't have the re- 
sources to check the 
historical origins 
of all Halloween 
customs, and 
doubtless they 
have varied from 
time to time and 
from Christian 
land to Christian 
land. "Trick or 
treat" doubtless 
originated simply 
enough: something 
fun for kids to do. 
Like anything else, this 
custom can be perverted 
and there have been times 
when "tricking" involved really 
mean actions by teenagers and was banned from 
some localities. 

We can hardly object, however, to children collect- 
ing candy from friends and neighbors. This might 
not mean much to us today, because we are so 
prosperous that we have candy whenever we want, 
but in earlier generations people were not so well 
off, and obtaining some candy or other treats was 
something special. There is no reason to pour cold 
water on an innocent custom like this. 




Similarly, the jack-o'-lantern's origins are un- 
known. Hollowing out a gourd or some other 
vegetable, carving a face, and putting a lamp inside 
of it is something that no doubt has occurred quite 
independently to tens of thousands of ordinary 
people in hundreds of cultures worldwide over 
the centuries. Since people lit their homes with 
candles, decorating the candles and the candle- 
holders was a routine part of life designed to make 
the home pretty or interesting. Potatoes, turnips, 
beets, and any number of other items were used. 

Wynn Parks writes of an incident he 
observed: "An English friend 
had managed to remove the 
skin of a tangerine in two 
intact halves. After carv- 
ing eyes and nose in 
one hemisphere and 
a mouth in the other, 
he poured cooking oil 
over the pith stick- 
ing up in the lower 
half and lit the ready 
made wick. With its 
upper half on, the 
tangerine skin formed 
a miniature jack-o'- 
lantern. But my friend 
seemed puzzled that 
I should call it by that 
name. 'What would I call 
it? Why a "tangerine head," I 
suppose.'" (Parks, "The Head of 
the Dead," The World & I, November 
1994, p. 270.) 

In the New World, people soon learned that 
pumpkins were admirably suited for this purpose. 
The jack-o'-lantern is nothing but a decoration; 
and the left over pumpkin can be scraped again, 
roasted, and turned into pies and muffins. 

In some cultures, what we call a jack-o'-lantern 
represented the face of a dead person, whose soul 
continued to have a presence in the fruit or veg- 
etable used. But this has no particular relevance 



Advent Christian Witness - September/October 2005 



to Halloween customs. Did your mother tell you, 
while she carved the pumpkin, that this repre- 
sented the head of a dead person and with his soul 
trapped inside? Of course not. Symbols and deco- 
rations, like words, mean different things in differ- 
ent cultures, in different languages, and in different 
periods of history. The only relevant question is 
what does it mean now, and nowadays it is only a 
decoration. 

And even if some earlier generations did associate 
the jack-o'-lantern with a soul in a head, so what? 
They did not take it seriously. It was just part of 
the joking mockery of heathendom by Christian 
people. 

This is a good place to note that many articles in 
books, magazines, and encyclopedias are written 
by secular humanists or even the pop-pagans of 
the so-called "New Age" movement. (An example 
is the article by Wynn Parks cited above.) These 
people actively suppress the Christian associations 
of historic customs, and try to magnify the pagan 
associations. They do this to try and make pagan- 
ism acceptable and to downplay Christianity. Thus, 
Halloween, Chrismas, Easter, etc., are said to have 
pagan origins. Not true. 

Oddly, some fundamentalists 
have been infuenced by these 
slanted views of history. 
These fundamentalists do 
not accept the humanist and 
pagan rewriting of Western 
history, American history, and 
science, but sometimes they do 
accept the humanist and pagan 
rewriting of the origins of Hallow- 
een and Christmas, the Christmas 
tree, etc. We can hope that in time 
these brethren will re-examine these 
matters as well. We ought not to let 
the pagans do our thinking for us. 

Nowadays, children often dress up 
as superheroes, and the original 
Christian meaning of Hallow 



een has been absorbed into popular culture. Also, 
with the present fad of "designer paganism" in the 
so-called New Age movement, some Christians 
are uneasy with dressing their children as spooks. 
So be it. But we should not forget that originally 
Halloween was a Christian custom, and there is no 
solid reason why Christians cannot enjoy it as such 
even today. 

"He who sits in the heavens laughs; Yahweh ridi- 
cules them" says Psalm 2. Let us join in His holy 
laughter, and mock the enemies of Christ on Octo- 
ber 31.* 



James Jordan is a theologian, author, speaker, 
and director ofBibUcal Horizons, P. O. Box J 096, 
Niceville, Fla. 32588. 

Tlie source for this article is: 
info@ransomfellowship. org 




Advent Christian Witness - September/October 2005 




Dig] the Dots 






'd 






V 






y 



I WANT TO SHARE SOME SEEMINGLY DISCONNECTED 
experiences that God has used to remind me of an impor- 
tant Biblical truth. You could say they are some "dots" on 
my map of recent experiences that God has connected. Let 
me start with a couple of passages of scripture that will set 
the framework for what I want to say. 

Paul wrote to the church at Corinth in 1 Corinthians 15: 

"^~But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, 
how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 
'^ If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has 
been raised. '^And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is 
useless and so is your faith. '^ More than that, we are then found 
to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God 
that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in 
fact the dead are not raised. "'For if the dead are not raised, then 
Christ has not been raised either ''And if Christ has not been 
raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. ''^ Then those 
also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. '"^ If only for this life 
we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. ... 
^^ Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. 
Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you 
know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain'.' 

We know that Jesus' resurrection and second coming is our hope 
and our central message to the world. In Matthew 28 we read: 

"'^ Vien Jesus came to them and said, All authority in heaven and 
on earth has been given to me. "' Therefore go and make disciples of 
all nations, baptizing them in ''" the name of the Father and of the 
Son and of the Holy Spirit, -"and teaching them to obey everything 



Advent Christian Witness - September/Oetober 2005 



/ have commanded you. And surely I am with you 
always, to the very end of the age'." 

Jesus clearly expects his followers to carry that 
message to the world. And in Matthew 24 Jesus 
again says: 

"'"'So you also must be ready, because the Son of 
Man will come at an hour when you do not expect 
him. '^^Who then is the faithful and wise servant, 
whom the master has put in charge of the servants 
in his household to give them their food at the 
proper time? '*'^It will be good for that servant whose 
master finds him doing so when he returns'.' 

In this passage Jesus said that his return could 
come at any time. 

The first "dot" that I 
want to begin to con- 
nect is a phone call 
that I received from Dr. 
David Arthur, volunteer 
curator of the Orrin Roe Jenks Adventual Collec- 
tion at Aurora University. David said that he had 
identified some duplicate materials from the Jenks' 
collection and wanted to know if I would like to 
have them. I was pretty sure John Roller would like 
them, so I picked them up. I stacked them in the 
corner of our bedroom awaiting transport to the 
Triennial Convention to give them to John. One 
evening, out of curiosity, I opened one of the boxes 
and discovered a stack of Central AC Mission Bul- 
letins from the 30s, 40s and 50s. I began reading 
through them and soon became overwhelmed by 
the number of references to churches in the Cen- 
tral Region that no longer exist. I began to ponder 
why. I was sure I could guess some of the reasons, 
but I was not sure I understood the basic reason. 
So "why?" I asked. 



The second "dot" 
occurred a couple 
of weeks ago. I 
was listening to 
the Friday night 
ABC show 20/20 
on which Elizabeth 
Vargas explored the 
validity of Christ's 
resurrection. In 
the middle of 







/m 



'1^ 



that broadcast one 
statement she made 
jumped out at me like 
I had never heard it 
before — when in 
fact I have heard it 
and even thought it 
myself many times as 
I read passages of scripture. The statement was 
"the apostles were convinced that Jesus Christ had 
risen from the dead and it changed the way they 
lived their lives." As you read (or at least as I read) 
Scripture, I realize this fact became the motivation 
for both the apostles and disciples, and it even mo- 
tivated them to risk — and give — their lives for 
it. But, I believe it wasn't JUST the fact that Christ 
had risen from the dead, but the belief that he was 
coming again SOON. Because of that, they had the 
responsibility — even the obligation — to take this 
message to the world, which made them willing to 
risk it all. 

The third "dot" 
took place a couple 
of thousand years 
after Christ's 
resurrection: this 
Biblical truth was 
what motivated 
William Miller. 
Miller believed 
and preached that 
it wasn't just that 
Christ was going to return, but that he was going 
to return SOON. Miller, just before his death, said 
that knowing what he knew — even having expe- 
rienced the great disappointment — he would still 
preach the same message without the specific date. 
Because, you see, he believed the return of Christ 
was imminent! 

The next 
"dot" 
took 
place in 
January 
of this 
year. The 
Strategic 
Planning 
Com- 
mittee 





Advent Christian Witness - September/October 2005 




was meeting with the 
senior staff in Char- 
lotte to begin to create 
a strategic plan for 
ACGC. Oneofthe 
four planning areas 
identified by the group 
was "Communicating 
the Message" and the 
first point under that is "Establish again the prior- 
ity of the message of the 'imminent return of our 
Lord Jesus Christ.'" Now in the past, my usual reac- 
tion to this statement has been to emphasize the 
phrase "return of our Lord Jesus Christ." But the 
"dots" described above have lead me to change that 
emphasis. "Imminent" is really the dominate word 
in that statement. It is not just that Christ is go- 
ing to return but that his return is imminent! This 
point is emphasized by both Executive Director 
Ron Thomas and President Glenn Rice in the last 
issue of the Witness. 

So now I think I began to get some real insight into 
why those churches I mentioned earlier closed. 
I think it was because they lost sight of the fact 
that Christ's return is imminent. Oh, I don't think 
they forgot about it or believed it wasn't true. But 
I think they began to ACT like there was not a real 
urgency to the message. To illustrate my point let 
me ask, "Do you live your life in such a way that 
demonstrates daily that you believe this truth?" I 
know that I rarely do. I believe that the fundamen- 
tal reason those churches closed is because they 
forgot (or chose to ignore) this important truth. 
You see, it is easier to join in with the crowd. After 
all, don't all Christian churches teach that Christ is 
going to return? 

But here is really the heart (and perhaps radical 
part) of my thinking: I believe God called William 
Miller, and ultimately created the Advent Christian 
Denomination, to teach about the IMMINENT 
return of Jesus Christ — not just that he was com- 
ing again. I think churches, just like people, have 
different functions in the Church (with a capital 
C.) I think the task given to the Advent Christian 
Church by God is to teach the world about the 
IMMINENT return of Jesus Christ. And unless we 
regain the fervor and urgency in our message, this 
denomination may well become irrelevant to God. 
For our first 100 years, we held true to our pur- 
pose, but over my lifetime, I think we have lost the 



urgency m our message. 

When I first wrote down my thoughts on this 
topic, I thought "What a downer. Here I am talking 
about what we have not done instead of what we 
have accomplished." But the more I thought about 
it I realized what a tremendous responsibility and 
opportunity we have, if my proposition is true. If 
God really set us apart to deliver the message of 
the urgency of the return of Jesus Christ to the 
world, we should be excited. What hope we have 
to share with a troubled world that often does not 
see any future beyond this life! 

But here is the hard part. How do we get back 
to the basics? Do we just preach the imminent 
return of Jesus Christ from our pulpits on a 
regular schedule? Maybe so. Do we hold special 
evangelistic meeting in which we proclaim that 
Biblical truth? Perhaps. Do we set up soap boxes 
on the major street corners of our communities 
and declare the truth to all within hearing range? 
Might be worth considering. Do we return to our 
heritage and print tracts and books. Should we 
try a more current idea and establish seeker small 
groups in our churches? Or .... 

The question, it seems to me, is how do we reach 
the people that need the message the most and 
are not willing to come into the traditional church 
building or attend a traditional church event even 
if it's not in a church building. 



One last 




seemingly 
unrelated 
"dot" 
in my 
life has 
helped 
me focus 



way 



of 



thinking. 

About a 
year ago, Ron Thomas preached a sermon in the 
Aurora church titled "Doing Church Outside." In 
that sermon Ron challenged us to consider how 
we might take the message (the Church) to those 
outside the walls of the traditional church building. 
I have not been able to get that thought out of my 
mind since then. 



10 



Advent Christian Witness - September/October 2005 



So here is the bottom line. We must regain the 
passion (that seems to be the modern term for 
zeal, enthusiasm or commitment to a cause) in our 
own hearts and minds of the imminent return of 
Jesus Christ. And then take the message outside 
the church walls in a way and with an approach 
that will reach the unchurched and unchurch-able 
(I think this may be a new word). We have to be 
creative. We have to be risk-takers, willing to fail 
and then start over again. How do we do this you 
ask? I don't know. But I am convinced that if we do 
not regain the fervor of our forefathers, God may 
consider us irrelevant as a denomination — with- 
out purpose. The strategic plan we've adopted is 
a good one. And I support its four planning areas 
as critical to helping us move forward in the next 
three years. But, if we only accomplish one thing in 
this list of tasks, it MUST be to "Establish again the 
priority of the message of the 'IMMINENT return 
of our Lord Jesus Christ!'" 

Let me conclude with this simple prayer: Lord, will 
you give us the courage, the will and the initiative 
to return to the message of the imminent return of 
your son? Give us the zeal of our forefathers. May 



we be willing to move 
out of our comfort 
zone and find ways 
that enable the lost of 
this country and this 
world to hear the mes- 
sage of the New Testa- 
ment. Help us learn 
to do church outside. 
I ask this in the name 
of our soon returning 
Savior, Jesus Christ. 
Amen.li' 



Mr. Homer Easley is Presi- 
dent of the Central Region 
and also serves as: vice-presi- 
dent of the Executive Council, 
member of the ACGC Fi- 
nance and Stretegic Planning 
Committees. He and his wife, 
Pauline, are members of the 
Aurora, III. AC Church. 






To order your "Maybe Today" bumper sticker, contact Venture Bookstore at 1-800-676-0694 



Advent Christian Witness - September/October 2005 



11 









y Rev. Russell Carle 



A year ago we had a youth group with three 
bona fide teenagers in it, two of whom were 
on the verge of dropping out. The rest were 
in grade school. A year later we have 20 to 30 teens 
in our church basement each Friday night having fun 
and hearing the gospel. Many of those have visited 
our Sunday morning worship service. Two have been 
saved, and more are regulars. How did it happen? 



I 
f 



I had been leading The Network gift studies in New f 

Zealand and the States for six or seven years. After ^ 

Hm<Yit Mx:^ a ri,^y IgiQck wheU OUr c | lUrcl:| ^^ ^ -JM 

at Portsmouth did a church health survey to find that y 
gift-based ministry was our weakest area. We needed 
to put some of the theory into practice. With the help 
of Helen Andrews, Don McDaniels and Terry Saun- 



lln 



I 



ders, our Church Health Survey Implementation 
Committee, we began starting some new min- 
istries based not on what our constitution said 
we ought to be doing for ministry but on what 
people actually were interested in doing. 

At this time I asked myself the question, "Can I 
use one of my interests for the Lord, even if that 
interest is video games?" I know that most would 
think a pastor playing video games is scandal- 
ous. So I knew a ministry based on video games 
might be a long, hard sell. In March of 2004 I be- 
gan to talk to the church leadership about a pilot 
program to test the idea. It involved spending 
about $500 for the equipment to try it out. We 
bought an X-Box video game system and enough 
controllers so that along with my son, Peter's 
X-Box we could play eight teens in a game. The 
game we picked is one of the most popular 
games in the world, called Halo. It is a "save the 
universe game" that is known as a first-person 
shooter. That means that your character shoots 
aliens who are trying to destroy humanity. In 
the multiplayer game you are in a valley or some 
other venue trying to shoot your friends. Think 
of it as paintball, only with space age weapons 
with your friends in a TV. Our pilot program was 
in April. It was an immediate hit with our kids. 



most- violent games in the country on a national 
news program. I have had kids themselves ask how 
a church can use an "M" rated game. In answer 
to these concerns, the game is made up of three 
major components: one is its online version called 
"X-Box Live," which we don't use. The second is the 
campaign form that contains bad language, and 
zombie/horror sequences, a form which we do not 
play at our Friday night sessions. The third is the 
multiplayer part as I described above. This compo- 
nent, which I now have extensive experience with, 
is as bad as playing Cowboys and Indians as I did 
as a child, or laser tag, or paintball, which are cur- 
rently more popular. (Cowboys and Indians would 
now be quite politically incorrect, but that was our 
play when I was young!) 

The church voted to allow me to begin the min- 
istry, so with the help of our one college student, 
Seth Burton, we opened in earnest in September. 
We had our fellowship hall set up with tables, a 
Ping-Pong table and three connected X-Box game 
systems. The rounds last 15 to 30 minutes. At the 
end of each I call out, "Ok everybody, over to the 
tables for a commercial for the Lord." At that point 
I share a two- to four-minute devotional. 



Sffi ^^^W^ CS3l^ @]§m]©n 



Here's one of my favorites: "What is grace? Grace 
is undeserved love. The world loves you if ... 
I IDSR5© DiM"] DSC"]© (IjQ©DijQ©©[te^lS if you are strong, if you are smart, if you are 

©©DS CiXo:^ a ©DOGOD^ ©am OOSd ^^^^^^'fy^,^ ^'^ P^^^y, if you are rich if you 

are good or it you are buymg. The world loves 
you if. But we can't be strong, or smart or rich 
enough to impress God. What do we have that 
he needs? What talents are 
ours that he didn't give 
us? What power or good 
do we have that we don't 
sometimes misuse and 
abuse? But God, who we 
can't force to love us, has 
decided to love us. It isn't 
deserved. It comes from his 
choice and we can't change 
his mind. His love is un- 
derserved, yet real. He 
showed it when he died 



So I went to the church and asked for permis- 
sion to buy enough equipment for 12 kids to play 
in a game, and to do it as an outreach minis- 
try on a Friday night. I talked with a lot of the 
church membership personally about this. Many 
had grave reservations, which I took — and still 
take — quite seriously: one was about selling 
snacks in our fellowship hall. I wanted the kids 
to be able to get a candy bar or piece of pizza 
but didn't want to have to budget big for feeding 
kids. Another was the game itself. Halo and its 
successor. Halo 2, have been rated among the ten 




Advent Christian Witness - September/October 2005 



for us on the cross. If you want to talk to me about 
his love, I would be thrilled. Commercial over. 
Next round of play. Make sure those who didn't get 
a turn last time do this time." 

In the course of the evening there are as many as 
six to nine commercials that, most of the time, the 
kids endure as they would a commercial on TV. 
Yet sometimes the Spirit hits a nerve, and they 
connect for a bit with the Word of God. We have 
had two young people make decisions for Christ as 
a result of this ministry, and have begun relation- 
ships with many, many more. More adults from the 
church, like Herb Burton, volunteered to help. One 
of our biggest helpers has been Carol Lombardi, 

who has taken responsibility for the kitchen. Some 
purchased more and better equipment for our use, 
including an air-hockey table. Someone else gave 
a couple hundred dollars for me to buy a sign for 
the Fridge. My daughter, Emily, drew the graphic, 
which a sign printer made about 3 foot by 4 foot. 
As a result of the sign we have been featured in 
two of the local papers, The Portsmouth Herald, 
and Foster's Daily Democrat. 

There have been lots of problems. In fact we knew 
there would be. When I asked the church board 
for permission to put a bunch of college men in 
our church apartment to help staff the Fridge, I 
was asked if I would assure the board that there 
wouldn't be any problems. I had to assure them 
that there would be lots of problems. They voted 
to allow it anyway. Thankfully, I gave the church 
the same basic promise before our kick-off in 
the fall. For Rally Day I preached from the end of 
Genesis where Joseph brings his boys, Manasseh 
and Ephraim to his father, Israel. Israel reaches out 
his hands and claims and blesses the boys as his 
own. Those boys had been raised in Egypt. They 
didn't dress or talk like any of Israel's other kids 
and grandkids. But he claimed them as his own. I 




challenged the church 
to claim kids for Jesus 
from our area who 
didn't dress, act or 
talk like us. I told them 
when I was a youth I 
was often a handful. My 
friend and I were fool- 
ing around one Sunday 
when he pushed me 
into a pew. I pushed 
him into a stained-glass 
window and broke it. I 
said to the church, "I 
pray the Lord will give us a whole lot of rambunc- 
tious teenage boys to break the furniture around 
here! Amen?" I didn't get any "amens" at that 
point, but with a little pressing I got quite a few. 
We have the teens, and the broken furniture, 
and ironically even a broken window. Praise the 
Lord; the boy who pushed his brother into the 
window is one who went to the altar. 

When the first Union ironclad, the Monitor, was 
built during the civil war, its inventor filed for 
many, many patents before it actually floated and 
moved off to engage the Confederate ship, the 
Merrimac. That is how it has been with the Fridge. 
We have had to find new solutions to new prob- 
lems on an ongoing basis. For example, when we 
opened our snack shack in the basement there 
were kids who hadn't brought any money. So we 
treated them. A number of the kids repeatedly 
showed up without any money. To try and teach 
both hospitality and responsibility we made some 
"Fridge" money. 

Now when someone new comes we give him or 
her a three-dollar bill so we can show hospitality. 
With that they can buy a couple pieces of pizza, a 
bag of chips and a soda. Then we tell them if they 
come next week they will have to bring their own 
money. Additionally, if they bring a guest, they get 
a three-dollar bill for each first-time guest they 
bring. Kids have brought bunches of kids. Some of 
our regulars continued to try and say that they had 
forgotten their money, but when we told them to 



14 



Advent Christian Witness - September/October 2005 



help themselves to the free fruit and carrot sticks, 
they suddenly remembered where their money 
was. Also when they come in and register, they get 
the back of their hand stamped with "Fridge." The 
usual response is "Cool!" 

Many of the kids could care less about the video 
games. Some are there just to have a place to be 
with their friends. Some of the girls are there be- 
cause the boys are there. It is one of the first youth 
ministries I have been in where we have more boys 
than girls. As with any teen ministry the 
boy/girl part bears careful watching. Our r ^ 
list of rules seems to grow with experi- 
ence. 



of. Each time we have a new problem or challenge, 
I am tempted to sweep it under the rug to avoid 
losing church support for the effort. Instead I ask 
our people to pray. And they do — with a heart. 
They quite realistically expect we are going to have 
more problems. They have seen the Lord bless, 
and — in a new way — experienced the truth of 
the Word that says, "Greater is He that is in me 
than he that is in the world." They expect the Lord 
to continue to use the Fridge to touch people for 
Christ. God grant itl'ij' 



It has often been a stressful blessing. 
Kids have always been kids, but I haven't 
always been middle-aged. Many of the 
problems they have are as old as the 
hills, though to them they are brand new. 
Many of the families are broken and 
hurting. Some of the problems are weird 
and foreign to me. For example, it took a 
coordinated effort by the staff and par- 
ents to get a handle on what was going on 
with kids who were cutting''* themselves. 

Our church just had a potluck for the 
families who let their teens come to the 
Fridge. We sent invitations, followed by 
phone calls. Out of the 50 or so families 
we contacted, we got about a dozen par- 
ents to join us in our meal and go to the 
discussion group afterward. The parents 
were encouraging, creative and enthusi- 
astic. Some signed up to help work at the 
Fridge. I thank the Lord, for it seems to 
me another giant step forward. 

I am not the only one. The church is 
genuinely enthusiastic about the Fridge, 
the rambunctious kids and their some- 
times-hurting families. For us personally, 
it's been a blessing to have a ministry that 
our youngest boy, Peter, loves to be a part 



L 





Cutting, one form of self- injury, is a serious problem for an es- 
timated two to three million Americans. The urge to cut may be 
triggered by strong feelings the person can't express— such as an- 
ger, hurt, shame, frustration, depression, a lack of "feeling alive" 
or sense of control— and they haven't developed healthy ways of 
coping. If you, or anyone you know, is self-injuring, please talk 
with someone you trust. 




I 



Rev. Russell Carle is pastor of Portsmouth Ad- 
vent Christian Church in New Hampshire. He 
also serves as Advent Christian General Confer- 
ence area director for Africa/Europe. 



Advent Christian Witness - September/October 2005 



15 






2005 

Triennial 

Convention 



More than 400 Advent Christians gathered at Foilri/H 
in Virginia Beach, Va.j to participate in the 2005 nniai 
Convention. In addition to the North Americans 
many visitors came from overseas, including repr^ah 
from Japan, India, South Africa, Malawi, CroatU 
pines and New Zealand, David Surge, representi 
Zealand Advent Christian Conference, gave thejki 
count of the convention in his report to the churclfM 
Zealand* 






nnia 



Garry Schache and I were privileged to attend th< 
Christian General Conference of America on behffthe 
sociation; ACCONZ and ACMissioNZ. This was 
first. The Conference was held at the Founders 
first stop (other than airports) was in Maine to st 




...^ 



iiirdl 
In irgini 



ewi 





ifltii 



her's Inn 
innial 
attended, 
^pr^tatives 
e Philip- 
New 
wingac- 
New Mk 



ntihe 



in 



Pictured, clockwise from upper left: 
Russell Carle and Nathan Fernan- 
do; the Parade of Flags; Dave Crimi, 
Austin Warriner and David Dean; 
Leigh Ross; the Triennial nursery; 
national workers and AC mission- 
aries; Dr, John Roller with Venture 
Bookstore; and Chaplain Carl Otis. 



thiennial Session of the Advent 

the Conditional Immortality As- 
lihird Triennial Session and Garry's 
Inirginia Beach, Virginia, but our 
tjfew days with the Carle family. 

(Continued on page 1 9) 









Russell now pastors the Portsmouth Advent 
Christian Church. Garry (worship leading) and I 
(preaching) took the service there Sunday morn- 
ing, June 19. It was a blessing to us both. Tim 
(Russell's son-in-law) was moved by the service 
(and others also). We were encouraged to hear him 
say so. In the evening we did a presentation on our 
NZ work. Folk from surrounding AC Churches 
attended this evening, and we made a number of 
new friends. 

After a few days with the Carle's we began our 
journey of around 600 miles to Virginia. Russell, 
Garry and I, with our luggage, crammed into a VW 
Beetle. Staying overnight with Russell's brother 
Barry and his wife Joannie in Connecticut, we set 
out early for New York. We experienced Central 
Park, the Empire State Building and "Ground 
Zero" as well as a New York traffic jam. 

Our second overnight stay was in a New Jersey 
motel. We met up with Michael Day, an Advent 
Christian with no AC Church nearby. He felt 
called to begin one so now a church meets in his 
home. What an encouragement to talk and pray 
over our church planting efforts! Pray God will 
prosper Michael's efforts also. 

The Advent Christian General Conference began 
for us on the evening of Thursday, June 23, with 
the Women's Home & Foreign Mission Society 
banquet to which, along with Grant Aldridge (AC- 
MissioNZ missionary to the Philippines) and other 
international delegates, Garry and I were invited. 
On Friday we had the opportunity to attend a 
seminar entitled "Growing a Healthy Church." An- 
other inspiring seminar was on "Natural Church 
Development." Meeting with AC conference lead- 
ers from India, Philippines, Kenya, Malawi, and 
Africa, with missionaries Earl & Martha Wright, 
and Jeff & Penny Vann, as well as hundreds of lead- 
ers from AC churches and ministries from all over 
the USA, was inspiring in itself. 

A day-and-a-half Mentoring Session followed the 
Conference for overseas guests. During this ses- 
sion we heard teaching on a number of topics 
important to the AC work around the world. The 
day before we left, Michael and Pam Gardner (Pas- 
1 8 

Advent Christian Witness - September/October 2005 



tor of Hilltop Advent Christian Church, Missouri) 
took us on a tour of America's largest Naval base 
nearby. Michael is an Army Chaplain (LTC), but 
he didn't have to pull rank to get us on the tour. 
On July 3 we began our journey home. It took until 
July 5 to make it back to NZ! 

Prayer & God's Presence 

One of the speakers at the Conference was Dr. 
Terry Teykl, formerly a United Methodist pastor, 
now a member of America's National Prayer Com- 
mittee and founder of Texas-based Renewal Minis- 
tries. He spoke about The Presence-Based Church. 
That is, a Church that seeks to know the presence 
of God rather than please people. Both Garry and I 
came away with a renewed hunger to know God as 
expressed through worship and prayer. 

Moses said the Presence of God with Israel was 
what distinguished them from all the other peo- 
ples of the earth (Exodus 33:15-16). The sense 
of the Presence of God among them as the early 
church gathered caused the inquiring unbe- 
liever to fall down and worship God, exclaiming, 
"God is really among you!" (ICor. 14:24-25). O 
that people looking for spiritual reality will be 
drawn, not by our programs or personalities, but 
by a sense of the Presence of God among us!lr' 




Garry Schache and David Burge 

David Burge is husband to Tarnya, and father to 
Sam, Rachel, Noah, Jonathan, Joseph, Thomas and 
soon-to-be-born Baby Burge. He is President of both 
the Advent Christian Conference of New Zealand 
and the Conditional Immortality Association of 
New Zealand. He is a pastor among the Advent 
Christian Churches in New Zealand. In his spare 
time he plays a mean game of chess. 




Scriptures 



Is Death Better By Far? 




Does Paul's desire "to depart and to be with Christ" show us that the believer goes immediately to 
"heaven" at death and thus that death is "better by far" than life? No way! 

Once again we must ask, on the subject of the afterlife, why was it that the only comfort Paul offered 
the Thessalonian Church was that the dead in Christ would be resurrected when Jesus comes again? (1 
Thess. 4:13-18). Likewise, in 1 Corinthians 15, if Paul believed that the departed go straight to heavenly 
bliss, why does he put forward no hope other than that of the resurrection? 

Looking at Philippians 1:20-24 in context, we note the following: 

1. It is in Paul's body (not his "soul") that he hopes Christ will be exalted, whether by life or 
death (20); 

2. The "gain" Paul has in mind is first and foremost that to the cause of Christ through his dying 
a martyr's death (20), then that which is to Paul personally from his martyrdom (21). He no 
doubt aspired to be like the many "others," the unnamed heroes of the faith, who are men- 
tioned in Hebrews 11, who "were tortured and refused to be released so that they might gain 
a better resurrection." (See Heb. 11:35); 

3. So elsewhere Paul speaks of his desire to share in Christ's sufferings, becoming like him in his 
death, and so at length to attain to the resurrection from the dead (3:10-11); 

4. In 2 Tim. 4:6-8 Paul speaks of his imminent death as a "departure": beyond death however it 
is the "Day" of Christ's return that he — along with everyone else — looks to; 

5. Throughout the book of Philippians it is clearly the resurrection of the dead at Christ's return 

upon which Paul fastens his hope: It is only then that "our lowly bodies will be like his glori- 
ous body" (3:20-21). 

Paul speaks not of his "soul" departing but of his whole self. His use of the term, "depart," suggests a 
journey in which the beginning is death and the end is being with Christ. It is this end which is "better 
by far." Paul will be with Christ after death, but Philippians 1:23 tells us nothing as to how or when he 
will be with Christ. Elsewhere Paul makes it clear: It is by resurrection. Meanwhile, either by the way he 
lives his life, or by the way he dies a martyr's death, Paul aims to exalt Christ. 

This should be our aim tooI'O' 



Pastor David Burge is President of both the Advent Christian Conference of New Zealand and the Conditional Immortality 
Association of New Zealand, and pastor among the Advent Christian Churches in New Zealand. 




Too 



Too 

Mt 






4" 



^%5^ 




Too 
Young 






How tHkfashion industry is t 
and what you can do about 



etina.itweens' — 



20 



s tanetin^^ 




As my friend and I shared coffee in her kitchen, she 
lamented over the girl her young son was dating. 
"She's wearing a belly ring!" 

I tried to reassure her. "Sometimes girls don't realize 
what they're doing." 

"She knows what she's doing" my friend said, "I asked 
her what the motivation was in having a belly ring, and 
she said, 'It makes me feel more sexy!'" 

Perhaps your daughter doesn't have a belly ring, but she's 
been showing her belly off as today's trend dictates. Or 
maybe she doesn't show much skin — just a lot of shape. 
Even such seemingly innocent styles as sweatpants 
have their pitfalls, as one exasperated pastor's wife and 
mother of a preteen learned: "I told her we shouldn't 
have bought those sweatpants that have words on the 
posterior, but I caved. 

"I just never know where to draw the line. What's 'just 
fashion' and what's displeasing to God? How do you 
know what's a passing fad and what battles are worth 
fighting?" 

SEDUCTIVE IMAGES 

Battles between parents and kids over clothing styles are 
not new. What is new is that the fashion industry and 
the media that support it are promoting their wares to a 
much younger, and more vulnerable, consumer than in 
years past. 

Should we be worried? As the mom quoted above found 
out, it isn't always easy to distinguish between a harm- 
less fad and something more dangerous. But a strong 
case can be made that the end result of today's immodest 
fashion is a greater likelihood of sexual sin. The Medical 
Institute for Sexual Health (MISH) has listed five factors 
that place a girl at the highest risk of sexual activity at 
an early age. A girl who "looks older than she actually is" 
is one of the factors listed. These girls are made to look 
older by fashion and makeup, most of which hint at or 
blatantly advertise her sexuality. 

Most parents want to avoid anything that places their 
daughter at risk of having her heart broken by sexual 
pain. But while it's a battle worth fighting, it's a battle 
that won't be easily won. Today's teens and preteens are 
exposed daily to messages and images that make them 
believe the lie that seductive, sensual exposure is merely 
"fashion" — fashion they can find easily, at places like 
Sears and Target. 



And the mainstream media are taking notice. For ex- 
ample, evaluating the new styles for summer 2002, an 
editorial in the Washington Post noted that "you can find 
terry-cloth bikinis at GapKids, and metallic-looking bras 
and bikini underpants labeled 'Girl Identity' in the girls' 
department of Sears ..." 

CNN and Fox News Channel commentator Betsy Hart 
used the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as her soapbox to 
attack Target, where she found everything for her young 
daughter too tight and low and short. She said that 
"dressing (her) not-yet-six-year-old like she was Britney 
Spears is at best silly, and at worst unnecessarily sexual- 
izing our littlest girls." 

Abercrombie and Fitch took the biggest hit for selling 
thongs with the words "Eye Candy" printed on them in 
their children's store for 7- to 14-year-olds. Abercrombie 
spokesman Hampton Carney attempted to minimize the 
issue by saying that the thongs were only sold in sizes 
medium to extra-large and so targeted girls aged 10 and 
up. 

While the editorials raged on, Cosmo Girl showcased a 
hot-looking blonde on the cover of their May 2002 is- 
sue in a teeny, tiny white T-shirt with a bold message in 
hot-pink letters: "be SEXY ... it doesn't mean you have to 
have sex." This shirt is the community effort of Candies, 
a popular teen shoe and clothing line, to promote absti- 
nence (Can you say oxymoron?) 

The good news is that most girls simply follow today's 
fashion standards with much naivete. With some solid 
reasoning, they're often teachable. So, how can parents 
approach their daughters, and with what information? 

1. START EARLIER THAN YOU WOULD EXPECT 

Research tells us that the most formative years for a 

young woman's sexual values are between the ages 

of— hold on to your seats — 8 and 10. 

When age-appropriate 

guidelines 

and truths 

in the 



Mm 



areas of sexuality, purity, and modesty are established 
during these years, they tend to stick. Talk to your 
daughter about modesty now rather than after she's fully 
developed — she is more likely to embrace your views. 
Talking to her before she develops also allows you to 
avoid making her feel like her new curves are "bad." The 
issue is not her body. God made it, and it is beautiful. 
The issue is how she presents her body — the clothes. 

My daughter is nine years old. Nearly two years ago we 
began to talk about modesty, and we removed some of 
the clothes she wore as a little girl from her wardrobe. 
No more spaghetti-strapped tank tops. While they aren't 
sexual on her now, it's just a few years until these will be 
inappropriate for her. I knew she was embracing these 
concepts when we were in public not long ago and she 
grabbed me and whispered, "Mom, I think you need to 
button another button. That shirt isn't very modest!" I 
pray this intimacy we share continues as we approach 
the tween years. 

2. CELEBRATE HER BEAUTY 

It's important to give your daughter confidence in the 
beauty of her body. Proverbs 5:18, 19, ESV says, "Rejoice 
in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. 
Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be in- 
toxicated always by her love" (italics added). The God of 
the universe looks down at woman and encourages one 
man to be fully intoxicated by her sexuality. 

As our daughters begin to develop curves, they often feel 
self-conscious and struggle with issues of self-esteem. 
Fathers can feel awkward around their growing girls, 
which contributes to the problem: Many middle-school 
and junior high-ages girls report feeling as if their dad 
had suddenly stopped loving them, noting the significant 
difference in his hugs and other tactile expressions. Yet 
one of the significant risk factors contributing to early 
sexual activity is a girl's feeling of not being connected to 
her dad. Conversely, feelings of connection powerfully 
reduce the risk. 



home spa complete with bubble bath, sparkling grape 
juice, music, and a scented candle. You could even invite 
key women in her life — grandma, aunts, Sunday-school 
teacher — over for a lemonade "toast" to her woman- 
hood. Each can tell a story about embracing woman- 
hood or perhaps present a small, inexpensive gift that is 
an object lesson about embracing womanhood. 

Any of these celebrations can be an opportunity to open- 
ly discuss the beauty of the female body and to present 
some precious Scripture to show her how very much 
God celebrates her beauty. Try Psalm 45, a wedding 
Psalm, or Psalm 139:13-16. 

3. CALL IMMODESTY WHAT IT IS. 

Once you've built a foundation for her body as a beauti- 
ful masterpiece from God, it's time to address the issue 
of immodesty head-on. This is probably best done when 
she's fully developed and is at least 11 to 13 years old and 
spiritually and emotionally capable of processing deeper 
spiritual concepts. 

According to the Hebrew and Greek definitions, sin is 
missing God's intended purpose — or "the mark" — for 
our lives. Look back at that verse from Proverbs. "Re- 
joice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful 
doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be 
intoxicated always by her love." A woman or young girl 
is absolutely worthy of the stares that may come her way, 
but God says that the unique characteristics of her sen- 
sual beauty are to be treasured secrets — secrets to keep 
for one man. When a girl dresses immodestly, she cre- 
ates arousal in many men. That is missing the purpose 
of God's carefully crafted masterpiece. Is it just fashion? 
No. Immodesty is sin. And we must call it that when we 
talk to our daughters. 



So to all the dads out there: Don't stop hugging your 
daughter! She needs your love now more than ever. Keep 
hugging her! 

And Mom, talk about those beautiful changes in your 
daughter's body. To say nothing is as bad as speaking 
negatively about her body. Talk freely about the changes 
in her body and even consider celebrating them. You 
could take her to a day spa and treat her (and yourself) 
to a "women's" day of pampering. Or create your own 

22 



M • 



4 



4. OFFER POSITIVE SOLUTIONS 

Don't get caught up in all the "no-no's" of fashion. I think 
we do great harm to the body of Christ when we cre- 
ate legalistic standards concerning beauty and fashion. 
The Bible does not condemn beauty and fashion. On 
the contrary, beauty seems to be a significant part of 
God's glory. In the book of Revelation, God is described 
in undeniable splendor. Things we consider beautiful 
seem to adorn Him in John's vision of heaven. Beauty is 
one of God's greatest expressions. I think it's only fitting 
that we, created in His image, strive to express ourselves 
through beauty as well. 



teens, I hit the guys' department and bought 
some simple $4 clearance ribbed T-shirts. Guys' 
shirts are long enough to tuck deeply into low- 
riders as an undershirt. The girls get the illusion 
they want without compromise. 

To test the length of a pair of shorts or a skirt, 
she can sit cross-legged on the floor or sit in a 
chair with her legs crossed in front of a mirror. 
She'll get an idea of what others might see when 
they sit across from her. Many girls will quickly 
modify their outfits. 



And though God implores us to be more concerned with 
our inner beauty than our external beauty, the Bible pro- 
vides many examples of appreciation for external beauty. 
Sarah was so beautiful that ol' Abraham was afraid 
other men might kill him so they could have his wife. 
Rebekah was "very beautiful" and a "virgin." Abigail was 
"intelligent and beautiful." Esther is perhaps the woman 
in Scripture most acclaimed for her beauty. There are 
more. The fact that their beauty is even mentioned in a 
document that doesn't waste words is significant. 

Did these beauties of the Bible appear plain and without 
the use of the fashion of the day? Not necessarily. Several 
times the Bible notes that beautiful women used cosmet- 
ics to make themselves more beautiful. (Isaac even gave 
Rebekah a nose ring as an engagement ring. In those 
days it was a sign of royalty.) While we can't fixate on 
external beauty, I believe God's Word gives us room to 
express ourselves creatively and beautifully. 

5. PROVIDE PRACTICAL GUIDELINES 

Give your daughter some fun and practical ideas for 
dressing so she can see what the standard needs to be. 
Remember, in our oversexed culture it's quite possible 
that she hasn't actually seen fashion that's both fun and 
modest. She also needs to go through the process of 
testing her own choices so that she can internalize the 
decision to live a lifestyle of modesty. 



♦ Develop a test with her to determine if her shirt 
is too tight. If she shows off the full form of her 
chest, it's too tight. Be creative. What test can 
she come up with to internalize a better stan- 
dard in this area? 

When we hit the mark — God's intended purpose for 
us — He blesses us. In fact, when you get to the Greek 
New Testament, the word for sin is hamartia, which 
means "to miss the mark and so not share in the prize." 
Here, the word for sin actually speaks of the reward, the 
blessing, the benefit of living according to God's specific 
purpose for our lives. He loves to bless you and your 
daughter. Aim for the prize! 

The bottom line is that modesty is a positive choice, and 
when it's presented early and with a positive focus, it's 
embraced much more easily. Immodesty, on the other 
hand, is sin. Narrow-minded? The path to pleasing God 
is narrow, but oh, the rewards are so incredibly unfath- 
omable!'¥' 

Dannah Gresh is the author of Secret Keepers: The Delicate 
Power of Modesty (Moody Publishers). Her first book, And the 
Bride Wore White, is the basis for a retreat that's been 
used in over 2,000 churches in multiple 
countries. 



Here are some practical "tests" you can suggest she use 
to enable her to determine if an outfit is OK: 

♦ To test if a shirt is long enough and her pants 
aren't too low, use the "Raise and Praise" test. 
She should stand in front of a mirror fully 
dressed and raise her hands in the air as if in 
praise to the Lord. This will show her how she 
will appear to those around her as she raises her 
hands. If you see skin, consider modifying the 
outfit. Be creative. For my fashion show I do for 





Advent Christian 
General Conference 
President 
Dr. Thomas S. Warren '. 



24 



Advent Christian Witness - Septemb r/Octobcr 2005 



A WORD FROM 
OUR PRESIDENT 



Pools, Purpose and Process! 

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the subjects of leadership, dis- 
cipleship and maturity in Christ. Subjects like these interest most 
Christians and, I think in our case, most Advent Christians. Over the 
years, I've discovered that there are many opinions concerning these 
topics. There have been a variety of books written on these issues and 
not all of them agree. 

I am not surprised that they don't all agree. However, I do want to 
consider the fact that there are similarities in their approaches that are 
worth further examination. In particular, each approach knows what 
it's looking for (a clearly defined goal) and has a strategic way (plan) for 
reaching that goal. These two factors alone are foundational when it 
comes to achieving leadership development, discipleship and maturity. 

It's been my experience that few have a clear understanding of this 
part of the church's work. Too many are satisfied to simply say that we 
are here to "make disciples" or some other kind of coined phrase, but 
far too little eff^ort or thinking has gone into exactly how this will be 
done. Perhaps an example will serve to illustrate my point. 

Seventeen years ago my wife and I moved to Jacksonville, Fla., to begin 
our ministry at the West Jax AC Church. We rented a house for four 
years but eventually built our own, where we now live. A few years 
later, we had a pool built in our backyard (a lifeTong dream). Earlier 
this year we had to replace the vinyl liner, the pump and a few other 
things. Despite the heat we have been experiencing all this summer, 
only now do we have a functional pool and it is a real blessing. 

Once the pool was repaired, Andy, the pool man, asked me to stop by 
the office so he could spend time with me discussing the care of the 
pool. I set up the appointment and went. What took place will forever 
stick in my mind. Andy, who has now become my friend, met with me 
for almost two hours and walked me through the caring process of my 
pool. I will never forget what Andy said: "In the beginning, a pool is 
like a child. You can't just let it run and play. You must watch over it 
and take care of it." Andy slowly and carefully read through the bro- 
chures, underlining and highlighting important stuff", and making notes 
in the margins so I would understand. And guess what — I understand 
more now than ever how to take care of my pool. The funny thing is 
this, I think I could tell someone else how to do it because someone 
took the time to tell and show me. 

(Continued top of next page) 



I left the pool store and the Lord began to speak to me 
about my experience. As I thought about what had hap- 
pened in the pool store I began to ask, "How much ef- 
fort do we make in helping people understand what it's 
going to take to become a disciple of Christ, whatever 
the level of commitment and ministry?" It disturbed 
me to think that I had just received more instruction 
on how to take care of my pool than the amount of help 
that the believer receives from the church on how to 
follow Christ. I immediately realized that this is one of 
the big reasons people and churches do not grow and 
mature as the Lord desires. We have, in many cases, left 
them alone and told them by our lack of action in this 
area, "You're on your own." Speaking from experience. 



when you leave your pool alone and don't take care of 
it — if only for a few days — the results can be nasty. 
Imagine what can happen to a person who wants to fol- 
low Christ but receives little or no help in that process. 

If my pool man can take this much time to share with 
me how to take care of my pool, how much more 
should pastors and churches be committed to showing 
our people (especially new Christians) how to become 
mature in the areas of leadership development and 
disciple-making. The Bible is clear on the goal and the 
process. Perhaps it's time we follow Andy's example and 
use the pens and highlighters. There's no telling what 
could happenll}' 



(Editorial continued) 

This lesson from the boatbuilder continues to guide me 
like a lighthouse blazing against the rocky shoals. Those 
shoals, for me, are unreasonable pursuits of excellence. 
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for pursuing excellence... 
if you've got the time and resources. But usually I have 
neither. Either I settle for less-than-perfection, or I 
won't get the job done at all. 

For instance, consider the magazine you're holding in 
your hand right now. There are few things I'd rather do 
than publish an award-winning issue. But this prob- 
ably isn't it. And I doubt the next issue will win any 
awards either. I know there are flaws that need to be 
fixed. There are articles that could use more editing, 
the graphics are too simple or don't perfectly illustrate 
the authors' points. There's so much more that could be 
done. If I had the time, I might even be able to write a 
decent editorial! But, because publishing this magazine 
is worth doing, it's worth doing poorly ... well, maybe 
not poorly, but less-than- perfectly. 

Think about how today's "pursuit of excellence" hin- 
ders people from doing things worth doing. How many 
people with pure hearts and grateful spirits will never 
sing praise to the Lord because they don't have "excel- 
lent" voices? After five seasons of American Idol, it's 
a wonder anyone is willing to stand up in front of a 
church and sing ... you can almost hear people in the 
back pew thinking, "It sounds a little pitchy to me." 

Ironically (but thankfully) the most important jobs 
don't require "excellent" skills to start. My Mom and 
Dad had no parenting skills when my older brother was 
born (Those didn't come until I was in the picture!). I 
imagine they did some pretty poor parenting early on; 



but, since parenting was worth doing, they kept at it 
and eventually their skills improved. I'll bet it was the 
same with your parents. 

The truth "anything worth doing is worth doing poorly 
... until you can do it well" is both liberating and bur- 
densome. We're not losing sleep because this magazine 
isn't perfect — it's worth doing and so we're doing it 
poorly ... at least until we can do it well. Accepting that 
is a tremendous blessing. 

On the other hand, since it is worth doing, we have to 
do it — even if it isn't as good as we wish it were. We 
have deadlines that tell us we're done — whether we're 
happy with the final product or not. And we can't just 
give up and excuse ourselves by saying, "Since we can't 
do it with excellence, we're not going to bother to do it 
at all." 

I wonder how many people use this very argument to 
justify laziness. "Since I've got no experience teaching, 
I'd probably be no good at it, and, if I can't teach fifth 
grade Sunday School with excellence, I'm not teach- 
ing at all!" Or, "I could help my neighbor paint, but I'm 
not very good at it and I wouldn't want to embarrass 
the Lord by doing a poor job." Or, "I ought to share my 
testimony with my co-workers but I've never done that 
before and I'd probably fall flat on my face. I'd better 
wait until I'm better prepared." 

I've built several boats. I could show you flaws in every 
one of them. But my skills improved, and even the first 
one floats. But I wouldn't have started that first boat if I 
hadn't heard the wisdom that said, "Anything worth do- 
ing is worth doing poorly... until you can do it well."'!}' 



Advent Cliristian Witness - September/October 2005 



Zb 



Decode the message by replacing the numbers with their correspond- 
ing letters. Not all letters will be used. One letter has been done for 
you. 





A 


B 


C 


D 


E 


F 


G H 


I 


J 


K 


L M|N|0 


P 


qIr 


^ 


T U 


V w|x 


Y 


z 
















1 






















































u 






~ 


~ 


7 TT ~ 


6 7 8 15 9 * 


~7 8" 7? 














L 




8 


5 3 


17 15 14 


7 12 14 


19 2 


15 16 7 12 1 


18 2 


To" 


~ ~ 


"t s" 


~ ~ ~ ' 


T ~ ~ 


T ~ ~ ~ 


~ 


F 




^ 








X 


1 


15 4 


5 14 


13 7 8 


15 2 


11 3 6 11 


1 


~ 


~ ~ 


"8 5" 
F 


T Tt" ~ ~ 


—7* 






7 


8 


] 


15 


3 




15 


1 




11 


3 




15 


# 




7 


11 






14 


15 




16 


6 











11 18 7 



4 11 3 13 15 3 14 12 16 7 11 8 12 14 



8 5 3 17 15 14 7 1 12 15 2 6 



Luke 10:2 



Connect the dots; then unscramble the Bible verse. 



25 



24, 

■ 
22 

23-21 

20 

19. 



17 16 



37 40 



42 



12 11 



41 ,^ 46 
3^. 38 ■ '' ■ 



oq 44 48 



^33 



31" O" V.^0 
So'oq" S 



28 



52 



^J, 


26_ ■ . 53 




■54 


14 


\ -55 

54 

,56 


■ 15 





r.3-^' 



deer water so soul As 
pants God. the my O you, 
for pants streams of for 

Psalm 42:1 



7 6 





Except ye become P.f> (ft i [C> CfiffCJlCfi , ye sfilTrSol 
enter into the kingdom of heaven." 



to Mw\a) \MmM 



Can yon fend tihie tw@ FaH sceiaei Aat mafe 






Fit the words from tike Bible verse into the pnnzzk. 

'...open your eyes and look 

at the fiddbS Ihey are 
ripe for harvest.'' 





"My response is to get down on my knees before the 
Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all 
heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his 
Spirit — not a brute strength but a glorious inner 
strength — that Christ will live in you as you open the 
door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both 
feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able to take in with 
all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ's 
love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its 
length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full 
lives, full in the fullness of God. God can do anything, 
you know —far more than you could ever imagine or 
guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not 
by pushing us around but by working within us, his 
Spirit deeply and gently within us" 

— Ephesians 3:14-21, The Message. 

As a college student going into my third year of 
undergraduate studies, I sometimes feel sucked 
into the world of academia. Studying sociology and 
writing/rhetoric, there is broad thinking, research, 
many papers, and seemingly endless discussion. It's all 
part of the life and the classroom. At times I love it, 
and at times I hate it. In the midst of all this, God has 



given me a passion and call to mission. I find myself 
asking what this looks like — what does mission look 
like? In what capacity has God gifted me to serve 
him? And interestingly enough, God provided the 
opportunity to serve him on the mission field this 
summer. 

The Summer of Service (SOS) program is a summer 
mission program through the school I attend, 
Northwestern College. This year 26 students 
volunteered to spend their summer serving the Lord 
all around the world in a ministry setting. We spent 
time together studying cultures, mission, and the 
Word before finally heading out in different directions 
for the summer. I felt led to serve in Durban, South 
Africa, working with a young mothers program 
through the Youth For Christ (YFC) ministry. It's aim 
is teaching life skills — such as cooking and sewing — 
and also fostering hope and a future in young mothers. 
I spent ten weeks working alongside this ministry in 
South Africa. In that time I saw and experienced many, 
many things. 

It is difficult now for me to put it into words and try to 



28 



explain what I have learned. Yet as I read back through 
the journals I kept this summer, I see a similar theme 
repeating itself over and over again — God is working. 
God is in South Africa. God is working there. God is 
in the U.S. God is working here. God is "far more than 
I [you] could ever imagine or guess or request in my 
[your] wildest dreams." The only way I know how to 
show this is to share some of the stories, feelings, and 
thoughts that I recorded throughout the summer. 



The last meeting of my fellow students 
in the Summer of Service Program 



"Our last meeting. Crazy that the time has gone so fast. 
I'm really going to miss the team. So many little details 

— what to give the site, what to leave with my family, 
what to pack, what not to pack, immigration, customs, 
and so on ... and so on ... 

Lord, help me to remember and be quick in thought 
when needed. Humbleness, love, and consideration in 
the example of Jesus —for these attributes I ask. I pray 
for the ministry, the team, the mothers I will be working 
with, the children and the country of South Africa. I do 
not feel spiritually prepared and it scares me a little 

— or a lot — if I really think about it. Help. I love you 
Lord. Amen" 



My first weekend in South Africa, at a 
retreat with the young mothers' program 



"...We picked up the mothers and their children at the 
community. They were all so excited to go — all looking 
nice, too. Truly beautiful young women. And the 
township they live in. Wow. The "poorest" place I have 
ever seen. I had initial shock, I think. Houses crammed 
together — actually shacks — on extremely steep and 
narrow roads where even the skilled taxi driver killed 
the engine a couple times. 

The mothers introduced themselves, but spoke little 
English. I was the only English-speaking person in the 
van I rode in. I felt like an outcast. I had no idea what 
they were saying and wondered if it was about me 
— dumb, but I did! They didn't really try to include 
me either, and I felt very intimidated ... My role at 
the retreat is to help take care of the babies while the 
mothers have group sessions. Such sweet beautiful, 
beautiful babies. Sometimes lots of crying, but not 
always or even most of the time. Mmm ... wish I could 



write and remember their names ... I pray to be useful 
however I can and to have peace and unselfishness in 
the face of not understanding'.' 



June 6 

Adjusting to the culture and place 



"At this moment I would like to be home. I am 
frustrated with myself. I feel sort of stupid and a little 
helpless. Like I never realized all the things I can't do 
— before I came here ... shall I name a few? I can't 
cook. I can't speak another language. I don't have a 
credit card. I can't play an instrument. I can't drive a 
stick-shift vehicle. And the list goes on. I just feel very 
inadequate. I know this is a good opportunity and I feel 
guilty for not really enjoying it at the moment — yet I 
know this is realistic ... right? A seemingly small thing 
like cooking — yet it's really frustrating me to depend 
on others for help. I pray for patience. I want to pray for 
self-sufficiency, but I know that you know better than I'.' 



June 13 

One of my first days in the young mothers' 

program 



"Frustrated. In South Africa. Sitting in a township. 

Doing Nothing. 

Isn't there something 

that can be done? 

A way I can help? 

A way I can serve? 

Yet Beauty. Voices. 

Young. Echoing through 

the solid cement walls. 

A harmony. 

Green and white school 

uniforms. 

Checkered colors. Skirts 

right above the knees. 

'We're dying like 

chickens'. Eyes serious. 

Not laughing. 

'One day, Manile will 

be gone and you'll 

say — "Oh, there was 

nothing wrong with her" 

— and I'll be gone'." Vuyo, who is in the young 

mothers' program, and her 
daughter, Amathle 




29 



June 19 

Volunteering at a Children's Home in Durban, 

where I volunteered for a couple afternoons 



mothers' program 



"Little boy — Combuso. 7 years. Looks like 4. Peeling 
skin on his hands. Sores. Fever Skinny, skinny. Feel 
the bones sitting on my lap. Feel the fever against my 
lips. Tracing his hands around mine. Singing. Singing. 
Singing. 

Jesus loves Combuso — this I know, for the Bible tells 

me so. Little ones to him belong; they are weak, but He 

is strong. 

Yes, Jesus loves Combuso. 

Yes, Jesus loves Combuso. 

Yes, Jesus loves Combuso, for the Bible tells me so. 

And again. Rocking him on my lap 

— singing the words. Praying the * 

words — pleading them to him, to 

God, to me — 



Jesus loves you this I know. For the 

Bible tells me so. Little ones to him 

belong; they are weak, but He is 

strong. 

Yes, Jesus loves you. 

Yes, Jesus loves you. 

Yes, Jesus loves you, the Bible tells 

me so. 



One of the mothers. Nana, was there with her son, Siya. 
Ah. Beautiful boy. And smart too! He's in this stage 
where he mimics everything you say and do. So cute. 
I would dance, he would dance. I would say "baby" or 
"Leah" and he would too! Sometimes I think I can't wait 
to go home. Other times I can't imagine leaving. Lord, 
may I live each day fully in this place. 



mothers' program and how it fits into the 
lives of the mothers. lJISM 



Jesus loves you, Combuso. I don't 

know why you are dying. I don't 

understand why the skin on your hands is peeling 

and your fever makes you sweat and thirst. I don't 

understand why you are weak. I don't understand why 

you got this disease. But I do know you are loved by 

God. May you also know this. Amen'.' 



June 20 

A day in the young mother's program where 
the mothers took initiative to make and sell 
"fat cakes" in their community as a project 



"In the community, we got there and the mothers had 
made fat cakes and were already selling them. It was 
like a celebration. It was so cool to walk in and see the 
joyful expressions on everyone's faces. Thank you. Lord. 
I pray the mothers would know that they can do it. 



"A sustainable program. What does that look like? This 
is not about me. I will be leaving soon. Going back to a 
college education and a job market. The mothers will be 
here. In the same situation. With the same goals? With 
the same means and mindset to reach those goals? 
Knowing you more? How? 

We can teach to cook 
— but where do the 
ingredients come from 
once "we" are gone? We 
can teach to sew, but 
where will the machine 
or material or thread or 
needle come from when 
we can't provide? And 
art supplies or jobs? I 
just don't know. And it 
does seem hopeless. And 
how do I fit into this? I 
really don't know. At all. 
Only you know. Lord ... 
and I will keep trusting in you. One step at a time. And 
for now, it is not about me — it is about the mothers 
and their children who I am serving. May I remember 
this. 

God. Jesus. Father Holy Spirit. All that you are. I call 
out to you. For Nonchlanchla and Siya and Nana and 
Vuyo andAmathle and Thando and Ayanda ... I ask 
for mercy. I ask that they would know you. That they 
would have food, clothing shelter. Love. And Fm going 
to go home. And Fm going to forget. That's my fear. Let 
me not forget this place, these people. I don't know what 
exactly it means to remember ... praying loving in 
Spirit ... but I do not want to forget. May I be a part of 
your presence here and see your presence in those I am 
serving. I love you. Lord. Amen'.' 




A day in the young mother's program 



30 



Pictured below: Leah with the kids at the 
Children's Home 




July 24 

The last time I volunteered at the Children's 

Home. We had a little party with music and 

food. 



"Dancing 

Arms pumping at the side 

Little legs stepping and stomping with the beat 

Arms pumping at the side — in heat with the stepping 

and stomping. 

Small, young hoy — hottom sticking out as the arms 

pump and the legs stomp. 

Impish smile. 

Don't watch] But watch! 

Look at me. 

Watch me live. 

See my rhythm'.' 



July 27 

The last day I worked with the Young 

Mothers' Program 



"So many different emotions today. The program went 
well. Mothers came. They were late in coming hut 
they did show up. And we haked a cake and made 
pancakes. It was nice. It was strange, though, to have 
it be my last day with them. I was sad to see them go. 
I may never see them again. Strange feeling. But you 
have them'.' 



July 31 

In the Airport, on the way home to Iowa. 



"Wow. I'm here. I'm leaving the place I've called home 
for the past two and a half months. Can't believe it. 
Surreal. Thank you, God, for those people I just said 
goodbye to. I love them. I am yours, God. I ask for 
protection and perseverance as I travel. I love you, 
Lord. Amen. 

God. Thank you. You are in South Africa. You speak 
Zulu. You have braided hair. You dance and play 
in the dust and go barefoot and eat pickled spices. 
And love those kids in the children's home. And you 
love the mothers: Vuyo, Nonto, Hlengi, Kinny, Pretty, 
Mathembie, Zinhle, Duma and Nana ... You travel 
winding footpaths and ride in taxis. Thank you for your 
world and for letting me experience more of it. Amen" 

I pray that you would be encouraged, as 1 have been, 
by the work that God is doing throughout the world. 
He is truly a glorious and powerful God whose reach 
extends far beyond anything imaginable. After having 
experienced God's power and people in South Africa, 
I am encouraged in hope, and I pray that you may be 
also.* 



Leah Van Eaton is a rising junior at Northwestern College 
in Iowa, majoring in English and Sociology. She is a mem- 
ber of the Villisca Advent Christian Church. For the past 
three summers she has been involved in ministry, serving 
twice in our Appalachian Regional Summer Ministries 
program and now spending a summer in South Africa. 



31 







Periodicals Postage Paid #007-740 

1-5-2 

00004343 12/2005 

UNG Ghape! Hi!! Library 

Serials Dept 

CB# 3938 Davis Library 

Chapel Hill NO 27514 



TAT Advent Christian 

Witness 



NovcoibayDeoeDiber 2005 



ManSe 






Jams 




V 



Witness 



Volume 53, Issue 6 

www.adventchristian.org 

1-800-676-0694 



Editor 
Keith Wheaton 

Assistant Editor 
Jan Thomas 

Contributing Editor 
Tom Warner 

Proofreader 
Kathy Wheaton 

Women s Ministry Editor 
Pam Buchanan 



Advent Christian 
General Conference 



Julia Brock Missions Secretary 

WorldMissiom@adventchristian.org 
Nancy Brooks Exec. Director Secretary 

ExecDirect@adventch ristian. org 
Pam Buchanan Women's Ministries Coordinator 

Womensministries@adventchristian.org 
Shirley Efird Bookkeeper 

Trena Efird Missions Secretary 

WorldMissions@adventchristian.org 
Helen Hagler Printer/Mailroom 

Amy Johnson Bookkeeper 

Donna Martin Printer/Mailroom 

Harold Patterson World Missions Director 

WorldMissiom@adventchristian.org 
Tina Pressley Venture Bookstore 

Venture@adventch ristian. org 
Mary Ritchie Church Relations Secretary 

MaiyRitchie@adventch ristian. org 
John Roller Urban/Ethnic & Resource Center 

JRoller@adventch ristian. org 
Dawn Russell Venture Bookstore 

Venture@)adventchristian. org 
Richard Russell Church Relations Director 

Ch urchRelations@adventchristian. org 
Dawn Rutan Controller 

DRutan@adventchristian.org 
Jan Thomas Assistant Editor 

Jan Thomas@acgc. us 
Ron Thomas Executive Director 

ExecDirect@adventchristian.org 

Keith D. Wheaton Publications Director 

Keith@acgc.us 



International Missionaries 



Area Directors: 

Scott Dombrosky — Latin 

America/Short-Term Missions 
sdombrosky@comcast. net 
John Gilbert — Team Leader 
johnia 99phis I . org 
Russell Carle — Europe/Africa 
rkcarle@mfx. net 
John Roller — Urban/Ethnic 
jroUer@adventchristian. org 
Clio Thomas — Asia/Pacific 
cliowestva@msn. com 

On Furlough 

Jeff and Penny Vann 

(7/14 & 5/12; Connie, 3/29; 
Naomi, 10/11) 
134 Essex St. Apt. B 202 
S. Hamilton, Mass. 01982 
Je(fvann@ acgc.us 
pennyvann@acgc. us 

Liberia 
Abraham David 

Advent Christian Church 
P.O. Box 4669 
Monrovia, LIBERIA 
advent_christian@yahoo.com 

Malaysia 

Victor and Nesamony 

Devadason, 

Beaulah Margreat Devasa- 

hayam 

No. 24 Jalan Pandan 12 

Taman Dato Honnat 42500 

Teluk Panglima Garang 

K. Langat, Selangor 

MALAYSIA 

acbcmalaysia@yahoo. com 

James and Mercy Devadas- 
son 

20 Jalan Intan 4 

Taman Intan 

86000 Kluang. Johor 

MALAYSIA 

adventchristianCa), hotmail. 

com 

Ruth Devairakkam 

36 Jalan 14/2 
Taman Sri Kluang 
86000 Kluang, Johor 
MALAYSIA 
rutluidvent@yahoo. com 



Philippines 

Grant Aldridge (7/27) 

PO. Box 223 

9000 Cagayan de Ore 

Philippines 

aldridge(aj,home.philcom.ph 

Kimon and Chin Nicolaides 

PO. Box 223 

9000 Cagayan de Ore 

Philippines 

kimon. mcolaides(w.us. army, mil 

Jeff and Rhonda Walsh 

PO. Box 223 
9000 Cagayan de Oro 
Philippines 
rJhiwalsh2@juno. com 



National Missionaries 

Memphis 

Francis and Lyne Ssebi- 

kindu 

2175 Carrollwood 
Cordova. TN 38018 
fssebikindu(a). worldnet. 
att.net 

Mexico 

Juan "Martin" Camacho 

Valdez 

c/o John Gilbert 
PO. Box 9019 
Calexico,CA 9223 1-90 19 

Miguel and Maria Mena 

c/o John Gilbert 

PO. Box 9019 SF 168 

Calexico,CA 92231-9019 

Croatia 
Desire Ahola 

PO. Box 29 
Nova Gradiska 
35400 CROATIA 
acceuroconference 
(a),hotmail.com 

Ghana 
Simon Bissah 

A.C.C. 

PO. Box 604 

Nsawam, Eastern Region 

Ghana 

simbissah@yahoo. com 



India 

Earl and Martha Wright 

(4/16 & 10/17) 
C/O Ruth Warren 
471 Trice Cemetary Rd. 
Thomaston, Ga. 30286 
dewmlw(a)hotmail. com 

Ernie Schache (1/29) 

1 6 Coventry Way 
Torbay, North Shore City 
Auckland 1311 
New Zealand 

wschache@xtra.co.nz (NZ) 
ernieschache@vsnl. net 
(India address) 



Kenya 
Simeon Rianga 

PO. Box 68 

Nyamarambe-Kisii, Kenya 

New Zealand 
David Burge 

12 Bettina Place 

Manurewa 

Auckland, NEW ZEALAND 

dburge@slingshot. co. nz 

South Africa 
Nathan Fernando 

14 Dick Muller Drive 
NorkemPark 1620 
S.AFRICA 2028 

nathankf@e.xcite. com 

India 

Jeeva Kiruban 

Box 3 164 

Guindy, Chennai 600 032 

China 

All correspondence should 
be channeled through the 
missions office. 



Advent Christian Witness (ISSN #0741-4302) is published bimonthly by the Advent Christian General Conference of 
America, 1 460 1 Albemarle Rd.. P.O. Box 23 1 52, Charlotte, NC 28227. Subscription rates in the United States and Canada: 
One year $15.00. Single copy $2.75. Overseas rate, one year $18.00. Periodicals postage paid at Charlotte, NC. and ad- 
ditional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Advent Christian Witness, P.O. Box 23152, Charlotte, 
NC 28227. Printed in Canada. 

As the official publication of the Advent Christian General Conference, the Advent Christian Witness publishes the 
teachings of the Advent Christian Church and promotes the task of disciple-making both in North America and around the 
world. The views expressed in this magazine are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those of the editor or 
the Advent Chri.stian General Conference. Member: Evangelical Press Association. Copyright (© 2005. 

Advent Christian Witness - November/December 2005 



From the Editor 



Contents 



i 




^H 




I*" 

4 







Obvious drama rarely accompanies important 
events. Each day thousands of people learn 
they have cancer — some are told it's terminal 
— and they leave their doctor's office to deal with 
that news ... and paying bills, and what to eat for 
dinner. No musical soundtrack suddenly rings 
out, signaling their heroic struggle. No audience 
of thousands buys tickets to admire and sympa- 
thize with their plight. Instead, life-changing news 
comes served with a big helping of the mundane. 
Sure, you may have only a year to live, but some- 
one still has to pay the car insurance and walk the 
dog. 

Hollywood doesn't portray it that way. Drama is 
the stock and trade of movies, so important events 
are accompanied by spectacular music. That alerts 
us to the significance of the event. A good film- 
maker knows how to focus audience attention on 
information or action or characters that are vital to 
the story. 

Real life doesn't often work that way. We don't 
have the benefit of Steven Spielberg directing our 
attention to the truly significant events around us. 
And, we still have to mow the grass, or rake the 
leaves, or shovel snow. 



Editorial 

Anotiier Point of View 

Annie Teshera Glass 

Maybe Today: 

The Fellowship of Waiting 

Dr. David A. Dean 

A Little Town of Bethlehem 

Bethlehem, N.C. 

The Perfect Gift 

Steve Ross 



10 



14 



ThanksGivingThanksGivingThanks 1 8 

Pastor James Taber 

Givers and Takers 19 

Larry Knowles 

A Word From Our President 24 

Dr. Thomas (Sam) Warren 

As Children 26 

Dawn Russell 

The Gift That Keeps On Giving 28 

Written by Pam Buchanan 



(Editorial Continued on page 25) 
Advent Christian Witness - November/December 2005 



Another point of view 

Tke last issue of the Witness featured an article on Halloween ty 
James Jordan. Not everyone agreed witk Mr. Jordan's conclusions 
regarding the holiday. 



> t V ■Wi*'^N ■ iW \ l»ll>=rirsiCovtn.nl,ihtmrbei«..™God's toy Bmdburyi cl,!«c novtl Somnhins Witkrf 

y M t ^ ^ '\l\ \ i p?upl«andGMl'icnemiMwaKroughtonitiehu- Hils Way Comes, which is a Halloween novel 

j^r Sanjj^r Sin^e^ ;~i;;_;::,i„ • :,„;;:.J.:;~„i..|i: 



Sv 2y^ ^jjllPPSnes B. Jordan 




\Dear Editor, 

'I applaud you for the excellence that you have por- 
trayed in the Witness. Including an article on Hallow- 
een is, in my opinion, very appropriate during this time 
of year. [Regarding James B. Jordan, author of the last 
issue's article "Celebrate Halloween?"] I realize that he 
is the head of a ministry that specializes in church his- 
tory, and I have contacted his organization to request a 
list of sources that he used in writing his article. I have 
not yet heard from them. In my own brief research, I 
consulted not only traditional evangelical sources, but 
I also went directly to those who take Halloween so 
seriously that they consider it a holy day — Pagans and 
Wiccans. I couldn't find anything that substantiated 
[Mr. Jordan's] statements. In fact, if his stand is indeed 
correct, I would be willing to reconsider my own posi- 
tion. 

Annie Teshera Glass 

Oh my! Halloween: for Saints or Sinners? The article in 
the September/October issue of the AC Witness greatly 



disturbed and alarmed me ... Mr. Jordan proceeds to 
give the origin of Halloween, but only presents partial 
facts, brushing off the ones that he doesn't agree with 
by labeling them "so-called." Tell that to the practicing 
Druids and New Agers in Bellingham, Washington. 
Druidism was/is not a myth, but an actual religion 
in which followers dress up in grotesque and terrify- 
ing costumes, not with the idea of mocking Satan but 
rather to hide from him. They hope to blend in so well 
with witches and demons that they will be spared harm 
from them. 

Mr. Jordan says that "Trick or treat' doubtless origi- 
nated simply enough: something for kids to do." My 
sources state that the Celts believed that when the 
spirits came to your house, you had better treat them, 
or they would trick you. Mr. Jordan further states that 
"there is no reason to pour cold water on an innocent 
custom like this," but my idea of what is innocent must 
be radically different from his. Mr. Jordan continues to 
say that he "doesn't have the resources to check the his- 
torical origins of all Halloween customs." The resource 



that I checked out all refute Mr. Jordan's "don't worry, 
be happy, these won't hurt you" suppositions. 

All Saints' Day, a Christian Memorial day, was first 
celebrated in the month of May and that date was 
changed to November 1 by the year 900. Yes, another 
name for All Saints' Day was All Hallows, which later 
did become shortened to Halloween. Yet, during this 
|Same time there were those who worshipped a horned 
fgod. Most of the time this was actually a goat, bull or 
ram, but sometimes it was a man or woman dressed 
up to look like one. I don't believe these people were 
rworshipping with the idea of ridiculing Satan. They 
had quite the practices, and even though Christianity 
was spreading, the religion of the horned god was far 
more exciting to them. Not only was the religion of 
the horned god in practice, but also the worship of the 
dead. 

Philip Carr-Gomm, Chosen Chief of the Order of 
Bards, Ovates and Druids, in his Laments of the Druid 
Tradition writes, "The dead are honored and feasted, 
not as the dead, but as the living spirits of loved ones 
and of guardians who hold the root- wisdom of the 
tribe. With the coming of Christianity, this festival 
was turned into Hallowe'en (31 October), All Hallows 
[All Saints Day] (1 November), and [All Souls Day] (2 
November). Here we can see most clearly the way in 
which Christianity built on the Pagan foundations it 
found rooted in these isles." Even the Pagans and Dru- 
ids believe in Halloween, not as just a day to remember 
the dead, but as living spirits! Yet, Mr. Jordan contends 
that this is a harmless activity for Christians. 

All Hallows' Eve was not originally a Christian holiday, 
as Mr. Jordan wants us to believe, but as Isaac Bone- 
wits, a neopagan, writes in his essay. The Real Origins 
of Halloween, "The Christian Church was unable to get 
the people to stop celebrating this holiday, so they sim- 
ply sprinkled a little holy water on it and gave it new 
names, as they did with other Paleopagan holidays and 
customs." Try as they might, the church wasn't able to 
completely douse the true meaning of Halloween. 

Halloween is, in fact, a day witches celebrate. Witches 
have eight major festivals throughout the year; the 
major one being October 31, or Halloween. Halloween 
is the end and beginning of the witch's year. It is during 
this time that demonic power is let loose and spirits 
are freed to roam about. Those involved in the occult 
consider Halloween the best time to contact spirits. 



According to The Witches' Voice, Inc., a website, "The'' 
Samhain Holiday begins at sundown on October 31st. 
The nightide was always a time to be wary of walk- 
ing alone in the countryside. So much more on this 
Night when the veil between the worlds of humans 
and spirits was at its thinnest. Traditional lore speaks 
of the dead returning to visit their kin and the doors to 
the Lands of the Sidhe (pronounced "shee") or Faery 
Realm being opened." While Wiccans believe this is 
the time to contact the dead, Satanists believe it "is a 
time to perform destruction rituals and get revenge on 
others." (Dewitched, p. 138, by Tim Baker). Still, Mr. 
Jordan says that "there is no solid reason why Chris- 
tians cannot enjoy it (Halloween) today"? 

Nowhere could I find sources that substantiated the 
claim of Halloween traditions/customs being for the 
purpose of mocking and ridiculing Satan. Even if this 
were true, is this really what Jesus would have us do - 
use our children to make light of Satan and his powers? 
To my way of thinking this is akin to spiritual abuse of 
our children! ... 

Perhaps, Halloween still is the same as All Saints' Day, 
as it supposedly used to be, but who in our culture 
knows or openly celebrates that? Certainly none of 
my neighbors, the majority of whom attend church. 
Even when we send out our children trick or treating, 
dressed in something as benign as Raggedy Andy, we 
are stating to the world that we acknowledge Hal- 
loween. Not the Halloween that is a memorial to the 
Christian saint, but a Halloween that is full of Satanic 
forces and celebrated with great glee by the Pagans and 
Wiccans. Here in the Pacific Northwest, Halloween has 
become a bigger deal than Christmas, complete with 
it's own colored lights of orange and black. 

According to my Pagan and Wiccan sources, Hallow- 
een is a real holiday in which they worship the dead 
and commune with the spirits. If this is not of Satan, 
then what is? God even goes so far as to forbid it in 
Deuteronomy 18:9-13 where he says do not learn to 
imitate the detestable ways of the nations. Are we 
not imitating by trick or treating? We need to be very 
careful of the ways that Satan deceives us into thinking 
that darkness is really light. The Apostle Paul warns 
us about Satan masquerading as an angel of light (2 
Corinthians 11:14). Halloween is not of God; it is of 
Satan. -{h 



Annie Teshera Glass lives in Sumas, Washington 




THE FELLOWSHIP 
OF WAITING 



by David A. Dean 



The weeks leading up to Christmas day — especially for 
children — can be an agonizingly long time of waiting. 
The reasons are obvious, and most of us can remember 
how slowly that time passed in our childhood. 

The four Sundays of the church's Advent season are also a 
waiting time. That's when pastors and their congregations 
prepare for Christmas by reliving the ancient Jews' longing 
for their Messiah to come. We join searching their Scriptures 
as we enter into the fellowship of waiting. Their hope was 
grounded on a handful of Old Testament predictions, among 
which Isaiah 9:6-7 remains for us — as for them — one of the 
most precious: 

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, 
and the government will be on his shoulders. 
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, 

Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of 

Peace. 
Of the increase of his government and peace there 

will be no end. 
He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, 
establishing and upholding it with justice and 

righteousness from that time on." 

Advent Christian Witness - November/December 2005 



The Holy Spirit guided the prophet Isaiah as he 
recorded this promise in the form of Hebrew 
poetry, one characteristic of which is the repeti- 
tion of a truth in parallel words or phrases: "child 
is born" and "son is given" (v. 6); "government on 
his shoulders" (v. 6) and "he will reign on David's 
throne" (v. 7); "establishing it" and "upholding it;" 
with "justice" and "righteousness" (v. 7); of his gov- 
ernment there will be no end" and "from that time 
on" (v. 7). A detailed study of the passage's literary 
form would undoubtedly prove fruitful. But for our 
purposes, the Hebrew parallelism here serves to 
demonstrate that Isaiah is emphasizing two as- 
pects of Christ's coming. 



A LOVING 

SAVIOR TO 

COME 




divine side, he is the 
Almighty God who 
always maintains 
a fatherly relation- 
ship with his people. 
As Isaiah elsewhere 
observes, this child 
will be Emmanuel 
— Hebrew for "God with us" (7:14). 

What better emphasis could summarize 
Christ's first coming? In Jesus, God demon- 
strated his personal concern for his needy 
creatures. So the Father commanded Joseph "to 
give him the name Jesus, because he will save 
his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). And 
Paul looks back on Jesus' coming to note that 
"God was reconciling the world unto himself in 
Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:19). Christ's personal 
coming into this world constituted the most 
profound expression of the most perfect love. 
God so loved the world that he gave his Son. 
This is the message of Christmas, one which 
fulfills the deepest longing of those who waited 
for Jesus to come. 



The text first brings to prominence Christ's 
humanity. "To us a child is born, to us a son is 
given." He came as a genuinely human person. He 
came into our time and space as a child, into an 
Israelite home as a son, and was born with a truly 
human nature. The apostles expand on this truth. 
John points out that "The Word became flesh" 
(John 1:14). Another observes that "Since the 
children have flesh and blood, he too shared in 
their humanity" (Hebrews 2:14). According to 
Paul, Christ took "the very nature of a servant" 
and was "made in human likeness" (Philippians 
2:7). 



Isaiah further highlights Jesus' personal nature 
by enumerating his names: Wonderful Coun- 
selor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince 
of Peace. Each title emphasizes his personal 
nature and activities. On the human side, Jesus 
lovingly counsels and rules peacefully; on his 



A POWERFUL 

SOVEREIGN TO 

COME 



At the same time, anyone who carefully reads 
Isaiah 9:6-7 observes a second emphasis. The 
coming Messiah is not merely a loving person, or 
only a Suffering Servant. He is also a powerful and 
peaceful ruler, who will appear in transcendent 
power and magnificent glory. "The government 
will be on his shoulders. ... Of the increase of his 
government and peace there will be no end. He 
will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom 



Advent Christian Witness - November/December 2005 




... with justice and 
righteousness from 
that time on and 
forever." To the ex- 
tent that those who 
waited Jesus' first 
coming understood 
these words, how 
disappointed they must have been that Jesus did 
not become an earthly king. The disciples could 
not have been alone in wondering, "Lord, are you 
at this time going to restore the kingdom to Is- 
rael?" (Acts 1:6). The answer was "No." 

What are we to conclude from Isaiah's second em- 
phasis on Christ as king since it did not transpire 
during his earthly ministry? Obviously, we have no 
right to assume that Isaiah was wrong in this pre- 
diction. Jesus himself guaranteed us that "Scrip- 
ture cannot be broken" (John 10:35). Besides, other 
Bible passages confirm that Jesus will reign as the 
supreme Sovereign. Consider two examples: "The 
kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of 
our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for- 
ever and ever" (Revelations 11:15), and "Then the 
end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to 
God the Father after he has destroyed all domin- 
ion, authority and power. For he must reign until 
he has put all enemies under his feet" (1 Corinthi- 
ans 15:24-25). The evidence on Christ's kingly rule 
is so clear that we should expect our Lord's min- 
istry to include an earthly reign even though that 
kingdom may not yet have come in its fullness. 



predicted various aspects of Jesus' future ministry 
as Messiah. And in this Christmas text (9:6-7), he 
promises both Jesus' first advent ("a son is born") 
and his second coming ("he will reign on David's 
throne"), but without calling attention to the 
length of time between the two future ministries. 
Bible students designate Isaiah's device as "pro- 
phetic foreshortening." To the biblical writer, the 
certainty and glory of future events is more im- 
portant than any time interval which may separate 
them. Isaiah finds them so crucially important 
that he easily mentions them in the same breath 
— even though they will be separated in time. You 
and I live in that "in-between time." 

The Advent season approaches us. How can we, 
who live after Christ has already come, share the 
same waiting experience of people (like, for exam- 
ple, Simeon and Anna in Luke 2:33-38) who lived 
before he came? We can do it because we also are 
waiting for Christ to come. Building on what he 
did when he first came, we wait longingly for what 
he will do when he comes again. 



WAITING FOR 

HIM TO COME 

AGAIN 



8 



OUR LORD TO 

COME A SECOND 

TIME 



Our Savior will completely establish his king- 
dom only following his second advent at the 
end of the age. In writing about 700 BC, Isaiah 



We desire the fullness of Christ's kingdom at 
his return. In his life and death and resur- 
rection, God's reign appeared in human history. 
Jesus healed the sick, forgave sins, made atone- 
ment, and defeated death. Our joy in that begin- 
ning fuels the flames of our longing for his com- 
plete conquest of evil. 

In contrast to the obscurity and humility of our 
Lord Jesus' first coming, he will return in power 
and universal glory. He will demonstrate himself 
to be the true King of kings and Lord of lords. It 
is then that he will rescue from the grave all those 

Advent Christian Witness - November/December 2005 



who sleep in him, banish their weakness and frail- 
ty, and crown them with immortality. Likewise, he 
will summon all of sinful humanity from physical 
death to stand before him in judgment. Then our 
Lord will vanquish Satan and all his forces of evil, 
casting them into the judgment fires of Gehenna. 
In his sovereignty, Jesus Christ will then renew the 
present heavens and earth resulting in a restored 
creation free from all sin and decay. 

While Christ's eternal kingdom will be more than a 
military and political accomplishment, its inaugu- 
ration will defeat all foes and rule over the nations. 
And then the same Person who loved us and gave 
himself for us will dwell with us and welcome us 
into the perfection of his glorious kingdom. There 




God will rule lovingly 
over a people who 
joyfully do his will in a 
renewed creation into 
which sin will never 
again venture. 



Right now we are 
properly waiting for 

Christmas to come with its heart-warming memo- 
ries and glad celebration. Yet additionally, thought- 
ful Christians are waiting for Jesus to come again. 
His return is certain and one well worth waiting 
for. And in our anticipation of Christ's return we 
gratefully enter into ancient Israel's fellowship of 
waiting. Ij' 




HO ^/)' 

^ILL Go' 

PR Us? 



Who Will Go For Us? is 

a story of the history of Advent 
Christian Missions around the 
world from the earliest days to 
the present time. Dr. David A. 
Dean, a gifted theologian and 
author of this work as well as 
several other books, has painted 
a rich narrative picture of the 
great cost paid by the men, 
women and their families who 
have labored and been obedi- 
ent to the "Great Commission." 
This book was first released 
this summer and is available 
through the Venture Book- 
store at the General Confer- 
ence Offices. To order, you may 
call 1-800-676-0694 or email 
venture@adventchristian.org 



A Little 



own 



em 



I beside the Fellowship Advent Chris 
in Church, nine local churches are respons 



ig the familiar story. All participants 
dressedfcin biblical costumes and act the Dart of 



m at tnat time in nistorv. 



it started? Several years ago, 



)unty comnjissioi^r and Fellowship Chi 
[er, Wes Bolick, went to South Carolina 
ith some church friends to see 




1. Visitors drive past scenes of 
the Christmas Story 




2. In the costume room 

getting dressed in biblical 

clothing 



3. Mary and the an^ 
Gabrii 




4. King Herod in his palac 



5. A Roman 
palace guard 



ppearing to Mary 
to announce, "Greetings, you 

•e Lord is • 



at ms words a 




13. Roman soldiers 
keeping order 



15. Bakery 



12 




16. The Inn ^^ • Manger Scene 

Advent Christian Witness - November/December 2005 



'vl^K^ 







kM^K, 



^ X)QV3^r. 



%f^K'!r>tX H y5w<c^ 



^^ 



.,*■ 



Perfect 

gift 



By Steve Ross 

A recent headline caught my eye. It read, "Holiday 
Giving Blurs Distinction Between Want and Need." 
It's true that for many of us, this season of giving 
tends to touch all of our impulsive, impractical 
urges. What else explains the age-old dilemma of 
toys vs. clothes?!! So the quest for "the perfect gift" 
continues. What is it, exactly, that defines "the per- 
fect gift?" James 1:17 says, "Every good and perfect 
gift is from above, coming down from the Father of 
heavenly lights" So for the next few moments, let's 
consider together this idea of "the perfect gift." 

Like you, the Ross family has many memorable 
stories of Christmas past. And like the gifts we 
exchange during this season, the stories come in 
all different shapes and sizes, and each one with 
a different nametag. It seems, however, that we're 
not so anxious to open those stories that have our 
name attached! Well, unfortunately for me, I'm 
about to open one of my "gifts" for you, by way of 
illustration. 

As young boys my brother Brent and I loved to 
ride our bikes. What kid doesn't! My brother, 

Advent Christian Witness - November/Deceinber 2005 



three years my elder, had graduated to the two- 
wheel world, while I was quite satisfied, however 
hopeless, to remain firmly in my training-wheel 
existence. I didn't quite get the idea that it was a bi- 
cycle! And so my parents determined that it should 
come to pass at some point before I reached 16 
years of age, decided this would be the year ... the 
year for the new bikes. Thus, after months of slav- 
ing and saving, Christmas day arrived. The new 
bicycles, in all of their red glitter and glory were 
placed beneath the tree. These gifts would be front 
and center, first and foremost on this Christmas 
morning. And with great anticipation, all waited 
for the exuberance of youthful glee and joy, as 
the four boys bounded down the stairs, with the 
youngest — yours truly —in the lead. You know, 
it's true, I think, that there are some moments in 
life that seem to unfold in slow motion before us, 
and perhaps this was one of those for my parents! 
As the family watched my brother Brent leaping 
high with happiness, they turned to hear my own 
expression of stunned disbelief when I blurted: 
"You know I can't ride a two-wheeler!!" Funny, I 
don't remember much else about that Christmas! 



15 



Unable to appreciate it at that moment, I didn't 
realize that my parents had given me "the perfect 
gift." This gift was exactly what I needed. Trapped 
in my world of training wheels, I couldn't foresee 
the freedom this new bike would bring. As a result, 
stubbornly persistent as I was — or was it persis- 
tently stubborn — I wasn't able to truly receive 
this "perfect gift," and in fact, continued for some 
time in the cautious comfort of my training- wheel 
world. 



— or persistently stubborn. There came a day, 
however, (and yes, before I turned 16) when I gave 
in, learned to ride a two-wheeler, and experienced 
all that my new bike was able to provide. A two- 
wheeler!! Oh, what freedom, what liberty, what 
joy! Still some falls, yes, but what a new life! All 
I wanted to do was ride my new bike. I realized 
that this truly was "the perfect gift!" The gift that 
was exactly what I needed soon became all that I 
longed for! 



The Bible tells me of "a perfect gift" that was given. 
I hear it again, from Luke 2:10, as the angel pro- 
claims to the shepherds, "Do not be afraid. I bring 
you good news of great joy that will be for all the 
people. Today in the town of David a Savior has 
been born to you; he is Christ the Lord" Savior, I 
ask? Why should I need a Savior? And as I listen 
closer still, I hear the words of the angel to Joseph, 
in Matthew 1:21, "Joseph, son of David, do not be 
afraid; Mary will give birth to a son, and you are to 
give him the name Jesus, for he will save his people 
from their sins" One who will save his people from 
their sins? And I realize that must mean me. With- 
out salvation from my sin, I am forever separated 
from God. The gift of the Savior, then, is indeed 
"perfect," for it is exactly what I need. 



The Apostle Paul clearly describes this "gift" in 
Romans, chapter five. In speaking of Adam, 
Paul says, "Sin entered the world through 
one man, and death through sin, and in 
this way death came to all men, because all 
sinned. But the gift is not like the trespass. 
For if the many died by the trespass of the 
one man, how much more did God's grace 
and the gift that came by the grace of the 
one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the 
many. Just as the result of one trespass 
was condemnation for all men, so also 
the result of one act of righteousness was 
justification that brings life for all men!" 
This Jesus, this Savior, this "gift," is exactly 
what 1 need! What will I do with this gift? 

What will I do with this new bike? Remember, 
for some time I remained stubbornly persistent 



Another Ross family Christmas memory for me is 
how all the gifts would slowly appear beneath the 
tree in the weeks and days approaching Christmas. 
With each new gift, I would creep low, straining 
to see the name on the tag. Could it be, do I see, 
beneath this tree, another gift, and it's for me?? 
Packages piled high — long and tall, bright and 
small. And as I reach to attempt a little shake here, 
or a rattle there, it quickly becomes clear that each 
gift is tightly secured, with so much scotch tape on 
each edge and seam that I think I hear the gift cry 
out, "Don't even think 
about it!" 



What about you? 
The good news 
of Christmas 




16 



Advent Christian Witness - November/December 2005 



is that there is a "perfect gift," on a perfect tree. 
Come near and see, for this gift has your name on 
it. But this tree, you say, does not look hke what 
you expected. This tree stands high and reaches 
far. The top of this tree extends to the very heav- 
ens, and its base reaches to the depths of a con- 
quered hell. You note that it has just two branches, 
reaching out as far as the east is from the west. 
And there is no need to search for "the gift," for it 
hangs on the entire tree. And then you realize ... 
the Christ in the cradle is the Christ on the cross. 
A perfect gift, on a perfect tree, and this gift is for 
you! 

So, how long will you stubbornly persist in sin? 
Won't you receive this gift, and experience the 
perfect cross, which holds a perfect Savior, who of- 
fers "the perfect gift" of salvation? For isn't this gift 
exactly what you need? Oh, 
what freedom, what liberty, 
what joy? Still some falls, 
yes, but what a new 
life! 




This Christmas Eve we will likely continue a long- 
standing family tradition, as each of the girls se- 
lects a gift to open. A gift that, perhaps, they have 
been "eyeing" for some time. We have had some 
wonderful and very interesting times over the 
years with gifts opened on Christmas Eve. 

Haven't you been looking at and wondering about 
"this gift" long enough? Why not open and receive 
"the perfect gift" that has your name on it? Right 
here, right now. What a Christmas to remember 
this would be! For when you receive "this gift," you 
will not only have exactly what you need; you will 
also soon realize, even as I did with my new bike, 
that "this gift" is all you ever wanted, and all you 
long for. 

There is another headline we must not miss this 
season. And though some would say that this is 
just "old" news, it was never more timely and per- 
tinent than it is today. It is the message of the angel 
to the shepherds: "Today in the town of David a 
Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord." 
Now, that is good news! "Today, A Savior, Born To 
You, Christ the Lord!" 

God bless you throughout this blessed season, as 
together we celebrate and rejoice in the wonderful 
"gift" of our Savior. My Savior, your Savior ... "The 
Perfect Gift." * 



Steve Ross lives in Albany, N.Y., 
and works as program director for 
regional perinatal outreach 
at Albany Medical Center 



Advent Christian Witness - November/December 2005 



17 




' am finding fewer and fewer thankful people 
today. After all, doesn't society tell us again 
and again through different mediums that we 
jdeserve what we get? If you feel you are get- 
ting what is rightfully yours, the sense of "gift" and 
consequent "gratitude" is diminished! 

In the familiar parable of the ten lepers, you find 
that attitude present among nine of them. If Jesus 
is a "Holy Man" whose primary mission is that of 
doing good, it is only right — and to be expected 
— that he should heal me and deliver me from 
my misery! But it is to be noted that only one of 
the ten lepers was made "whole" — the one who 
returned to give him thanks. Jesus said, "Your faith 
has made you whole" (Luke 17:19). 



for things to give thanks for. Matthew Henry, after 
he had been robbed, wrote these words in his di- 
ary: "Let me be thankful first because I was never 
robbed before; Second, because although they took 
my money, they did not take my life; Third be- 
cause although they took my all, it was not much; 
Fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I 
who robbed." 

Remember the words of the Apostle Paul, "In ev- 
erything give thanks" (1 Jhessalonians 5:18). Try to- 
day to express Thanksgiving in your life and watch 
what it does for both you and others. Indeed "It is 
a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord" (Psalms 
92:1)."^ 



As Christians, our lives must be always character- 
ized by a deep, abiding gratitude. Learn to look 



Rev. James Taber is pastor of the First Advent 
Christian Church in Morganton, N.C. 



18 



Advcnl Cliristian Witness - November/December 2005 



Givers 



4l«-iMfc-*^ 



By Lairy Khovdes 




Years ago a wise and esteemed elderly lady in 
our church named Irma Wallace offered me 
some strange counsel. She said, "Don't try 
and do anything for God." 

At the time I had only a vague clue as to what she 
meant. But over time the truth of those words has 
grown on me. While on the surface they seem at 
odds with certain statements in scripture, they get 
to the very root of the way God relates to us if we 
are Christians. 

Irma's point was this: God is always a benefac- 
tor or giver, and anyone who comes to him must 
come purely as a beneficiary or receiver. Why? 

Advent Christian Witness - November/December 2005 



It's because he doesn't need us; there is no lack in 
him to which we can offer our contribution. Even 
more, it's because he is actually dishonored when 
his children try to come in any way other than as 
dependent, insufficient, needy receivers of grace. 

This is all scriptural. "The God who made the world 
and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and 
earth, does not live in shrines made by man, nor 
is he served by human hands as though he needed 
anything, since he himself gives to all men life and 



19 



breath and everything" (Acts 17: 24,25). "If I were 
hungry, I would not consult you; for the world and 
all that is in it is mine.... Call upon me in the day of 
trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me" 
(Psalm 50:12, 15). Notice the point: God lacks for 
and needs nothing. And notice the sequence: the 
way we glorify him is by receiving grace happily 
from him. We tend to think these two are separate, 
or worse, that giving glory must precede receiving 
grace. 

At first it sounds foreign to suggest that God must 
always be the giver and not the receiver. Aren't we 
told to give him glory? Aren't we told to sacrifice of 
ourselves for him? And doesn't the Bible say every- 
where to serve him? 




The answers to those questions are "yes." But 
what's often glossed over is how terms like "sac- 
rifice," "giving" and "glorify" are really defined in 
scripture. Simply put, you'll look in vain in scrip- 
ture for any reference to "giving God" something 
that leaves him with more, and us with less, than 
either started with. Instead, all our "giving" and 
"doing" turns out (if done properly) to be an ex- 
change of something lesser for something greater. 
We remain receivers in every transaction with him. 
And by relating to God this way, he is glorified, 
since it displays his power and goodness — not 
ours. 



If being a perpetual beneficiary sounds like it 



20 



makes me the center of the gospel, consider this: 
when a person dying of cancer is helped by a grant 
from the Robert W Johnson Foundation, who gets 
the glory? The sick man or woman? No, the bene- 
factor is magnified. How much more true of God. 

Simply put, youll look in vain in 

scripture for any reference to ''giving 

God" something that leaves him with 

more, and us ivith less, than either 

started with. 



Try another scriptural example: "But without faith 
it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to 
God must believe that he is, and that he is a re- 
warder of them that diligently seek him" (Hebrews 
11:6). At first, coming to God diligently requires 
a sacrifice of time, energy and personal leisure. It 
seems like a sacrifice at least. That is, until you read 
that it results in a reward of an unspecified nature. 
When you obey this verse, does it wind up leav- 
ing you with less and God with more? Quite the 
contrary! 

"But" someone might say, "that verse says we offer 
up faith. God longs for our faith; it's something 
that he wants us to give him." Once again, this 
glosses over what faith really is. If you see it as 
some kind of payment stoically presented to God, 
you've got it backward. Faith itself is a resting, a 
kind of contented, surrendered confiding of a child 
in a parent. What's more, the very capacity to be- 
lieve is a gift of God and is not self-manufactured: 
"By grace you are saved through faith, and this is 
not from yourselves, lest any man should boast" 
(Ephesians 2: 8). 

Even "serving the Lord" turns out in the end to be 
something that we are not benefactors in perform- 
ing. Peter said "If anyone serves, he should do it 
with the strength God provides, so that in all things 
God may be praised through Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 
4:11). God never gives orders to do anything with- 
out also insisting on providing the means to do it. 
Even in his commands to serve him, he remains a 

Advent Christian Witness - November/December 2005 



giver, and we remain receivers. 
This might sound like great news except for one 
thing: we don't exactly like being beneficiaries all 
the time. We want to feel like we've contributed. 
We want to earn a few things by the work of our 
hands. We want to feel and appear resourceful. We 
don't like being on the receiving end too much. No 
one wants to be a welfare recipient. 

You can try that approach in the world and, per- 
haps, reach some earthly level of success. One 
thing's for sure: Christians may never take that ap- 
proach with God himself. Not only is it futile, but 
it's deadly. 

The reason? Because at the root of such an attitude 
is pride. Self sufficiency, self direction, self reli- 
ance and self esteem are the aim of the "puffed up" 
heart. We want to be movers, shakers and con- 
tributors because it says something about us and 
it does something for us. But pride is what sunk 
Satan himself at the beginning, and scripture is full 
of "woes" to those who perpetuate that spirit. 

In fact, if you insist on giving something to God, 
or on doing something for him, offer up this: your 
pride. Hand it over and begin to really honor him 
by letting him supply you and satisfy you with 
what he offers, much as an unassuming child 
would do with a parent that they're happy to look 
to and receive from. 



which is no more than God's appointed tool to 
deepen our capacity to know, enjoy and make him 
known. 

These kinds of gifts may sound vague and un- 
substantial. But aren't they the things that down 
deep we really want for ourselves, loved ones and 
friends? What good are earthly gains or healthy 
bodies when had by people who can't make it work 
with God and each other? 

An applicant to Vernon Hall once said to me, "I 
don't want any welfare. If I'm going to come here 
it'll be by paying my own way." Translated that 
meant "I refuse to be a beneficiary of anyone." May 
the Lord help us to understand that in the spiritual 




In fact, if you really want to give 
anything to God, or do anything 
for him, do this: ofPer up yoiu: 
pride. 



realm "looking for a handout" is the only way to 
be saved, not to mention the best way to give God 
glory. 'u' 



By the way, all this talk about receiving from God 
doesn't pertain to material health and wealth. It's 
not a Cadillac that the author of Hebrews had in 
mind when he wrote 4:11. While material bless- 
ings are often thrown in, the New Testament is 
glaringly silent about material prosperity. Instead, 
the currency it speaks of involves things like faith, 
love, victory over sin and the freedom to enjoy 
God. This is true even in the midst of suffering. 

Advent Christian Witness - November/December 2005 



Mr. Larry Knowles , Jr serves 
as President of Advent Chris- 
tian Retirement Communities. 
He and his wife Joanne have 
four children: Kristen, Larry 
III, Katie, and Eli. 



^F^^ 




21 



"Hwm^e BeQmif\iif\9S 



^m. 






6^ Pas|pf Sam Wci)^ ^j 

Bertha Cassidy was an Advent Christian mission- 
ary to China in the first part of the 20th century. In 
her book, China Adventure, she recalls how dif- 
ficult it was to preach and teach when the Chinese 
were afraid of the "foreigners." Out of curiosity, 
Chinese women came to the chapel to hear the 
singing. Others listened to the bible stories for 
the wrong reasons. One woman remained after a 
Wednesday meeting, and Miss Cassidy hopefully 
inquired of the woman, "Have you some ques- 
tion you would like to ask?" "Oh, yes, I have been 
waiting to ask you something ever since I came in." 
Cassidy hoped for a question about how to be 
saved, but instead came the request, "I 
have been wondering how much you 
paid for the material in your skirt" 
(p. 17). After receiving the answer, 
the woman hurried away, 
never to return. 








Cassidy writes, "Was there any fruit from those 
early attempts at preaching the gospel? At least 
the worker was learning much, not only in regard 
to the language but in understanding the ways i 
and the thoughts of the people among whom we " 
were living. Foundation work does not show. We ^ 
want people to listen to our message, but they fe» j 
the need of watching our lives to see whether thef> 
message is worth listening to! And I learned from 
the lives and the faith of other missionaries — es- 
pecially of my mother and my stepfather — the 
need of working with 'gold 
and silver' instead of with 
'wood, hay and stubble' 
when building the foun- 
dation, which is Jesus 



Christ" (p. 19). 




W 



22 



Advent Christian Witness - November/December 2005 



As we celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus in 
December, let us consider the humility of Jesus, 
"Who, being in very nature god, did not consider 
equality with God something to be grasped" (Phi- 
lippians 2:6). He made himself of no reputation. 
He was born in a place for animals, and laid in a 
feed trough. "He took the form of a servant" (Philip- 
pians. 2:7). He came in the likeness of a man. Jesus 
did not suddenly appear on the Judean landscape 
2000 years ago in the blaze of military glory and 
conquest that som.e people expected of God 
Almighty. He was born an infant, had diapers of 
some sort and made goo-goo sounds that all par- 
ents adore. He humbled himself. In order to be the 
perfect Savior, he walked in our shoes, but without 
sin. He was tempted to take shortcuts, especially 
to avoid the cross. But Jesus humbled himself, 
and became obedient to death — even death on a 
cross. He identified fully with humanity, with our 
pain, with our brokenness, with our enemy death. 
The perfect Man was also the perfect Savior. He 
died in our place, and rose again, the Conqueror 
over death. Jesus humbled himself. 

With humility comes patience. Jesus was patient to 
complete his mission from manger to the cross. He 
was patient to wait for a later exaltation. Consider 
the humility of Jesus. He knew who he was. He 
knew what his mission was. Yet for 30 years, Jesus 
lived among the people of Israel, and had NO fol- 
lowing. He had no disciples for 30 years! Consider 
the great love and humility of Jesus Christ to be 
nearly anonymous through the first 30 years of his 
life. 

The sequence of Jesus' patient life gives an example 
of humility for us to follow. Just as Jesus was pa- 
tient with his disciples, so we must be patient with 
others to grow in faith. Even Jesus took three years 
to train new disciples. We must be patient to allow 
time for the spiritual growth and maturation of be- 
lievers. Just as Jesus humbles himself to receive the 
awaiting persecution and death, so we must count 
it all joy when we are counted worthy to suffer for 
the name of Christ. 

Humility precedes glory in the life of Christ. 
"Therefore God exalted him to the highest place 

Advent Christian Witness - November/December 2005 



and gave him the name that is above every name, 
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, 
in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and 
every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the 
glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:9-11). Just 
as he was patient to wait for exaltation, so must 
we be patient to wait for our new, perfect bodies. 
As we live in humility now, we learn to depend on 
God for everything, from sweeping success in a 
business venture to the loving words of forgiveness 
for an angry family encounter. We get impatient 
with God to work in our lives, to help us move 
through problems, or to help us find our calling in 
life. The humility of Christ takes shape in our lives 
as patience. 

Let us continue to build our churches on Jesus 
Christ. Let us focus our ministry activity on pro- 
claiming Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior. Let's put 
humility into practice by redirecting attention 
from ourselves to Jesus Christ. Our goal in the 
church is not to teach morality or good behavior 
— only that Jesus Christ saves. Newcomers should 
find love expressed freely when they attend our 
churches — love that isn't manufactured. Love is 
fruit of the Spirit from a growing relationship with 
Jesus Christ. Attractive love radiates from Christ's 
love in us. Here is where humility comes into play. 
Jesus Christ must be the center of attention. 

Remember the humility of Jesus Christ and his 
patience to remain in God's will and unrecognized. 
"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ 
Jesus" (Philippians 2:5). Remember Bertha Cassi- 
dy's admonishment to build on the true foundation 
that is Jesus Christ. Followers of Jesus are clothed 
in the humility of 
Christ.* 

Mr. Sam Walsh 
is the pastor of 
the AC Church in 
Baraboo, Wisconsin 



\ 





Advent Christian 

General Conference 

President 

Dr. Thomas S. Warren ] 



24 



A WORD FROM 
OUR PRESIDENT 



STARTEARLY 

Each year in our church we face the same challenge as we think 
about raising money to support Penny Crusade, the Advent 
Christian denomination's primary source of money for missions 
and the rest of the ACGC budget. We often ask questions like, 
"Do we have a fundraiser?" And, if so, what kind? Or "Should 
we conduct a faith-promise pledge drive?" And each year we 
find ourselves arriving at the final stretch of the challenge, hop- 
ing to meet our goal. 

This year, however, we took a different approach. Prior to the 
launching of our 2005 budget we decided to challenge our 
people to developing a consistent pattern of giving that would 
reach our goal and beyond. With this in mind, we encouraged 
our people to give throughout the year a percentage of their 
finances to World Missions, divided among a church building 
project in Kenya, a short-term missions trip to Honduras, and to 
Penny Crusade. 

Each person was invited to pray about what they might give 
beyond their tithe to one, two or all three of the mission needs. 
AH they had to do was to designate the amount on the memo 
line of their check. The important thing was to start early and 
keep on giving. 

An added blessing was uncovered in that once the church build- 
ing project in Kenya was completed, we asked our people to 
transfer their support to the mission trip. Many complied will- 
ingly. And again, after the short-term mission trip to Honduras 
was over, people began to give their money to Penny Crusade. 

Here's where it gets exciting! East week, while attending a 
conference board meeting, I shared that West Jax was about to 
begin their 2005 Penny Crusade campaign on September 18"". 
The most exciting thing of all was the fact that even though we 
hadn't begun Penny Crusade yet, we had already raised $7000, 
a thousand more than the entire 2004 budget figure for Penny 
Crusade! Now, that's exciting! 

In a day when "cash flow" is regularly a concern at ACGC, 
perhaps we should all seek to give on a more consistent sched- 
ule — week by week — in an attempt to avoid the dry spells. It 
just might make a difference, not only at the local level, but on 
a denominational level too! Our goal is $10,000 for the Penny 
Crusade, and I am absolutely confident that we will reach our 
goal. While our goal as a denomination may seem very large to 
some of us, if we work together on a weekly basis, it just may be 
easier than we think. 'u' 

Advent Christian Witness - November/December 2005 



(Editorial continued) 

The way most people think of Christmas is a prime example 
of Hollywood's influence. The Christmas story is invariably 
presented as high drama: A misjudged unwed couple "in 
trouble" is forced by a ruthless government to journey for 
miles on foot and donkey. They face difficult odds search- 
ing for shelter from harsh weather, and then the woman's 
labor pains commence. Overcoming ostracism, injustice and 
inhuman conditions, the young mother finally gives birth to 
the Savior. Then, just after the baby has been cleaned up and 
properly swaddled, shepherds and wise men appear, and the 
world stands still to stare in wonder at that amazing Baby. 



delivered babies at inopportune times in unfamiliar loca- 
tions. I don't see Steven Spielberg rushing to buy a script 
with this plotline — there's really not enough obvious drama 
or action. 

That's not to say nothing significant occurred! On the con- 
trary, one of the greatest events in the history of Creation 
transpired. But it wasn't much noticed. People still had to eat, 
walk the dog, and pay their car insurance. "Another baby is 
born — I hope it doesn't cry all night. I've got to go to work 
in the morning." 



I don't think the real-life version would have appeared nearly 
so compelling. Joseph had to go to Bethlehem for taxes. So 
what? At least he didn't have to deal with the IRS, the DMV, 
the DOT, or get "nickel-and-dimed to death" paying for 
permits, fees, and inspections. Sure, it was a long walk, but 
every trip he took was a long walk. As a Jewish male he went 
to Jerusalem three times a year for religious festivals; and 
each trip was just as far. 

He and Mary stayed in the stable because the inn was full. 
Big deal. Neither place had running water, electricity, or 
room service. And having a baby there was not a major 
disadvantage over giving birth in Naza'-eth. Neither location 
offered ivy-league obstetricians and epidurals. 

Most of the hardships we imagine them having were part of 
everyone's life in those days. People were inconvenienced 
and taxed by heartless governments, and not a few women 




I had a friend who was an artist, a painter. He fiercely 
guarded his work like a pit bull, unwilling to show anyone a 
painting before it was finished. But one day he called me with 
an enthusiasm and excitement I'd never seen before. "You've 
got to come over and see this!" he said. "I haven't finished it 
yet, but you've got to see my painting!" I was caught off guard 
by the invitation, but knew better than to delay. I rushed over 
to see a masterpiece in the making. 

Few people knew Harry was a painter, and no one knew how 
important this painting was. There was no drama to tip them 
off. No music or cheering crowd. He was just part of the 
mundane landscape of their lives. That's what Mary and Jo- 
seph appeared to be; mundane landscape in the background 
of everyone else's lives. 

But God, the Master Artist, was too excited to let it go totally 
unnoticed. Even if the work wasn't finished. He just had to 
call someone and shout, "Come over and see this!" So he sent 
his angels to some shepherds. They alone heard the angelic 

soundtrack that first Christmas 
night. The Magi would arrive 
much later. 

Some people might suppose 
the minimal drama implied a 
lack of value. But eyes of faith 
see beyond the apparently 
mundane to behold the Lord of 
glory arrive in our world via a 
normal-looking birth. Imman- 
uel, God with us. Come, let us 
adore Him.'fr 



Advent Christian Witness - November/December 2005 



25 




H 107M108K 109 1 HOL 111 F 112B 113P 1 



SOLVE THE CLUES 

iiLOW.ANIP FOLL DH 

LiTTiRS OH THE PUZ- 
ZIETOTUE LEFToTyi 
FmSTOHl DS DOME 
FOR 



PSALM 105:1-2 



A. Part of the leg between the foot and shin A. N K L E. 

7 38 9 102 36 

B. A promise 



82 113 30 

C. Nisht illumination _ 



51 55 47 15 62 



78 44 54 68 22 2 46 58 74 



D. Greatly admires oneself 

3 115 71 50 

E. Seven large bodies of land 

E Put in as much as possible 
G. A woman's wrap 
H. To have shoes on 
I. Gloss over or hide 



106 6 77 

J. To work toward an agreement 



20 90 29 11 53 72 88 41 60 65 
ili 86 23 16 
"^ 14 100 57 96 
105 76 107 19 

95 40 42 118 63 
81 "TTo 1 ""98 ~~[3 ~m ~M ~~^ 4 



K. A cloth to wipe a face or nose 



L. Maternal state 



61 64 25 109 35 32 18 116 48 80 69 99 



31 67 94 26 49 111 91 12 75 66 

M. Broad pieces of wood 

83 97 21 108 37 70 

N. One who is rich, possesses many 



117 103 27 



O. A plant that grows on trees, rocks, etc. 

33 17 56 79 

P. Related to camels, used as pack animals 



114 101 59 93 85 10 



Q. A shifting movement 



26 



43 24 5 92 39 45 

Advent Christian Witness - November/December 2005 




Except ye become P.r> ffiife (M6\'CA),ve shall n 
enter Into the kinsidom of heaven." 




FIND THESE WORDS FROM LUKE 2:8- 20 




angel 




MANCEROTPESOY 


sign 


ARENCJSHTOLCH 


baby 


cloths 


RBKALODCHRIST 


shepherds 


praising 


BORNRRSWYBCHO 


savior 


glory 


OVCiHSHEP HE RDS 


manger 


peace 


JEYBHIRACTIFA 


Mary 


news 


O A R U MA d K P J B Y V 


Joseph 


joy 


SMAEIONNROANI 


born 




ENMSWYBCLSBSO 


Christ 




PEIFOLRJEUYMR 
HNPJRPLS ILDJO 
CLORYAECAEPWC 
J C D T $ W E NW 1 M C U 



BREAK THE CODE: Replace the 
numbers with the correct letters 



l=h 
2=i 
3=n 
4=t 
5=a 



6=s 

7=m 

8=0 

9=d 

10=1 



ll=w 
12=p 
13=b 
14=f 
15=v 



16=g 
17=r 
18=c 
19=u 
20=e 



5" 3" 

Is 2 


9" 6"r20 T65"T520 


14 2 

r 8" 


17 6 4 13 8 17 3 ' 5 
3"'6"r20 riT75"T2T2209" 


1 2 
5" 3" 


7 2 3 18 10 8 4 1 6 

9" T2Tb5"T8209" r^T" 


2 3 


5 7 5 3 16 20 17 


13 20 


18 5 19 6 20 4 1 20 17 20 


11 5 


6 3 8 17 8 8 7 14 8 17 


4 1 


20 7 23 41 20 233 



Help the n 
the maze H 
with foodl 



through 
the Indians 



©at. 





1 


1 II 


1 1 


1 




r 1 1 


1 1 


1 



Advent Christian Witness - November/December 2005 



27 



Keeps on Giving 



WritteJrbt PJEfea^nan f* 



1^:! 



■^'m 



m^ 




9/ym 



\^p 



She was born in Carroll County, Virginia on July 5**", 1949 ... 
He was born in Galax, Virginia on Feb 4*, 1958 ... 
Differences? 

1. One was female, the other was male ... 

2. One was a summer child; the other was born in the winter ... 

3. One was the oldest child; the other was the youngest ... 

4. Born in different decades, separated by nine years. 

Their connection? 

They are siblings, both born to Alvin and Georgia Cox, separated by three 
other children: Teresa, Mary and Alvin Cox, Jr. 






J9H^H 


t 





Faye Cox Burnette and her husband, Gene, live 
in Galax, Virginia. They have been married for 
40 years and have two sons, Kenneth and Robert, 
two daughters-in-law. Sherry and Linda and four 
grandchildren. Gene and Faye are members of 
the First Assembly of God Church in Galax. 

Advent Christian Witness - November/December 2005 



Faye's Story: 

The first hint of pain was in May of 2001. The 
symptoms of nausea and fatigue sent me to see 
a doctor. My initial concern was a gall blad- 
der attack, but after several doctor visits, tests 
and finally a biopsy, I was given the diagnosis of 
Chronic Liver Disease. This came as quite a 
shock to me, my husband. Gene, and my 
family, because I had no alcohol or 
drug abuse in my past. The cause 
of the disease was determined 
to be "Crypto Genetics" 
which simply meant that 
1 would go to my grave 
not knowing the cause. 

At first, I was told that 
my cause of death would 
probably be old age rather 




than liver disease, but after treating the symptoms 
for a year and many visits to specialist physi- 
cians, the word "transplant" was introduced. I was 
transferred to UVA in Charlottesville, Virginia, 
where my name was added to the transplant list in 
February, 2003. 

I continued to be monitored, the disease contin- 
ued to progress and finally in June of 2004, my 
doctor asked the question, "Do you know anyone 
who would be willing to donate a portion of their 
liver?" 




Michael Cox lives in Princeton, West Virginia 
with his wife of 21 years, Beverly. Mike and 
Beverly are members of the Princeton Advent 
Christian Church, where Michael serves as a 
deacon and Sunday school teacher. 



Michael's Story: 



As I became aware of my 
sister's suffering and 
observed the decline, 
naturally I was concerned. 
1 was regularly requesting 
prayer for my sister among 
the members of my church 




family. One Sunday morning, a nurse in our con- 
gregation asked if I had considered being a liver 
donor. With her help, I researched the possibility 
and discussed the pros and cons with my wife, 
Beverly. Feeling led by God in my desire to see my 
sister live, I approached her with the offer of being 
her living donor. Even though her first response 
was less than enthusiastic, I decided to begin the 
process with a family doctor visit to find out my 
blood type. During that visit, I discovered that our 
blood types would match but there were other 
roadblocks, such as high cholesterol, high blood 
pressure, and the discovery of borderline diabetes. 
I knew this would be a tough hill to climb, but the 
desire to help had been divinely planted, and I 
began a medically-supervised plan of exercise and 
diet. With God's help, I was able to shed many ex- 
cess pounds and to correct my medical problems. 
In God's plan, when the doctor in Charlottesville 
asked my sister about a liver donor, I was medi- 
cally suitable to be considered. 




Faye and Michael spent much time in Charlottes- 
ville over the next few months, undergoing medi- 
cal tests and interviews in preparation for a trans- 
plant which had been scheduled for December 9'^, 
2004. The night before the transplant, the family 
spent time together reviewing the process and re- 
assuring one another in the anxious hours before 
the procedure would begin. Having faith that God 
was in charge, Michael brought smiles to all as he 
teased and said, "I hope she doesn't expect any- 
thing else from me under the Christmas tree." 

The surgical waiting room was full on that day as 
Faye and Michael's family and friends comforted 
one another and prayed. The surgery took approx- 
imately twelve hours to complete, and tears flowed 
freely when word was received of a successful sur- 
gery. Immediately, hearts and heads were bowed 

Advent Christian Witness - November/December 2005 



to express gratitude to God. Both Michael and 
Faye awoke with concerns for one another. 



As their story is being told, a full year has passed 
and their recovery progresses. Due to Michael's 
superb health at the time of the surgery, he only 
had to stay at the hospital for a week. Faye's 
recovery has been much slower but very steady. 
We continue to give praise to God for this mir- 
acle which began many years ago. You see, even 
though Faye had never abused alcohol or drugs, 
Michael was a serious alcoholic at age 24. At his 
lowest point, he admitted he was an alcoholic 
and requested entrance to an alcohol rehab facil- 
ity. He completed the month-long program and 
remained sober for six months but then relapsed. 
Next, for his program of rehabilitation, he turned 
to his mother's Bible. Being a mason by trade, 
Michael was kept indoors due to the _ 

frigid temperatures of winter ^^ wflm 

and, therefore, had the time to ^v W^ ^K^k 

chael remembers spending 

three weeks in this process of cleansing alone 
before the Lord. At the end of this time, he prayed 
for deliverance from the desire for alcohol, and 
God performed a miracle of complete healing that 
day. God also performed the miracle of preserving 
the condition of Michael's liver, making it pos- 
sible for him to be a donor to his sister many years 
later. 



read, pray, and weep before 
the Lord for his sins. Mi- 



As this family celebrates Christmas 2005, they 
have much to reflect upon. Faye and Michael lost 
their father in November of 2004, one month 
before the transplant. In April of 2005, Michael 
lost his father-in-law. Having lived next door to 
him all of his married life, he also lost a friend, a 
farming companion, and mentor. And in June of 
2005, Michael and Faye lost their mother. Al- 
ways faithful and encouraging, she succumbed to 
chronic lung disease just months after celebrating 
her children's successful transplant surgery. In the 
midst of much death, this family has experienced 
the gift of life, a gift that continues to give. 



Advent Christian Witness - November/December 2005 



To gain strength as the transplant approached, 
both Faye and Michael spent much time in God's 
Word. Two of the verses that were especially 
meaningful are both found in the book of Isaiah: 



They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their 
strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. 
They shall run and not be weary; they shall walk 
and not faint — Isaiah 40:31. 

Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously 
look about you, for I am your God. I will strength- 
en you, surely I will help you. Surely I will uphold 
you with My righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10) 

Through adversity, this family experienced the 
faithfulness of God. He used this trial to draw the 
entire family closer to him and to 
cause them to focus on the most 
important aspects of life: loving 
God with all of their heart, soul, 
mind, and strength and loving 
each other. 




In the celebration of the season, this 
family will be reminded of God's love. It was love 
that motivated Michael to consider being a donor, 
but he is quick to give the credit to the Lord. "We 
love because He first loved us" - I John 4:19. God 
loved us by sending his only son as a baby to live 
among us and by sending his only son to the cross 
as our substitute. It was God's love, demonstrated 
through Michael's life, that made this gift possible. 



May you find time this season to ponder anew 
his love for youl'v' 






m 



J* Kim,. ^ I 

Pricl; $99.99 



I 






mom 



J 




Periodicals Postage Paid #007-740 

00004343 12/2005 

UNG Chape! Hii! Ubrarv 
Serials Dept 
CB# 3938 Davis Library 
Chanel Hill NC 27514 



In 







ISLAM 



Witness 



Volume 54, Issue 1 

www.adventchristian.org 

1-800-676-0694 

Editor 
Keith Wheaton 

Assistant Editor 
Jan Thomas 

Contributing Editor 
Tom Warner 

Proofreader 
Kathy Wheaton 

Women s Ministry Editor 
Pam Buchanan 



Advent Christian 
General Conference 

Ron Thomas Executive Director 

E.xecDirect@acgc. us 
Nancy Brooks Administrative Assistant 

nbrooks(a^acgc. us 

COMMUNICATIONS 

Keith Wheaton Communications Director 

l<Mheaton(q;acgc.us 
Helen Hagler Production & Distribution 

lihagler(cv,acgc. us 
Donna Martin Sales & Distribution 

c/iiuirlin(a cicgc.us 
Tina Pressley Bookstore Sales Manager 

lpressler(auicgc.us 
John Roller Publications Coordinator 

jrollcriaacgcus 
Dawn Russell Bookstore Sales Assoc. 

drusselKoiacgc. lis 
Jan Thomas Administrative Assistant 

/ll7omas@acgc. us 



International Missionaries 



NURTURE 



Pam Buchanan 



Women's Ministries 
Coordinator 

phuclicma)i(a>acgc.us 
Mary Ritchie Administrative Assistant 

mritchie@acgc. us 

OPERATIONS 

Richard Russell Operations Director 

rrusselKwacgc.us 
Pam Buchanan Women's Ministries 

Coordinator 

plnictuinati(u acgc.us 

Shirley Efird Finance Assistant 

s(;fird@acgc.us 

Finance Assistant 

ajohnson@acgc. us 

Controller 

drulandvacgc.us 



Amy Johnson 
Dawn Rutan 



OUTREACH 

Tim Fox Outreach Director 

Ifoxiaacgcus 
Julia Brock Administrative Assistant 

/t}r(>ck(cvacgcjis 
Trcna Etird Administrative Assistant 

/cfirdUi'Mgc.us 



Area Directors: 

Scott Dombrosky — Latin 

America/Short-Tcrm Missions 

sdomhrosl<y[a Comcast JK't 

John Gilbert — Team Leader 

john@99pliisl.org 

Russell Carle — Europe/Africa 

rkcarleUi mfx.net 

John Roller — Urban/Etiinic 

jroHeriai.adventchristian.otg 

Clio Thomas — Asia/Pacific 

cliowestva@msn. com 

On Furlough 

Jeff and Penny Vann 

(7/14 & 5/12; Connie, 3/29; 
Naomi, 10/11) 
134 Essex St. Apt. B 202 
S. Hamilton. Mass. 01982 
Jeff\>ann@ acgc.us 
pennyvann@acgc. us 



Philippines 

Grant Aldridge (7/27) 

P.O. Box 223 

9000 Cagayan de Oro 

Philippines 

aldridgeiivhome.philcom.ph 

Kimon and Chin Nicolaides 

PO. Box 223 

9000 Cagayan de Oro 

Philippines 

kimon. nicolaides(w.us. anny.mil 

Jeff and Rhonda Walsh 

PO. Box 223 
9000 Cagayan de Oro 
Philippines 
rJbiwalsh2@juno. com 



National Missionaries 



India 

Earl and Martha Wright 

PO. Box 3164 

Guindy Chennai 600 032 

wright(a.md3. vsni. net. in 

Ernie Schache (1/29) 

1 6 Coventry Way 
Torbay, North Shore City 
Auckland 1311 
New Zealand 

^NSchache@xtra.co.nz (NZ) 
ernieschache@vsnl. net 
(India address) 



Liberia 

Abraham David, AC Church, PO. Box 4669, Monrovia, LIBERIA 
Malaysia 

Victor Devadason, No. 24 Jalan Pandan 12, Taman Dato Hormat 42500, 
Teluk Panglima Garang, K. Langat, Selangor, MALAYSIA 

James Devadasson, 20 Jalan Intan 4, Taman Intan, 86000 Kluang, Johor, MALAYSIA 

Ruth Devairakkam, 36 Jalan 14/2, Taman Sri Kluang, 86000 Kluang, Johor, MALAYSIA 
Kenya 

Simeon Rianga. AC Church, P.O. Box 68, Nyamarambe-Kisii, KENYA 
Memphis 

Francis Ssebikindu, 2175 CarroUwood, Cordova, TN 38016-4608 
Mexico 

John Gilbert, PO. Box 9019 SF168, Calexico, CA 92332-9019 

Martin Camacho Valdez, c/o John Gilbert (above) 

Samuel Avalos - Madrigal, c/o John Gilbert (above) 

Miguel Mena Arrellano, c/o John Gilbert (above) '■ 

Croatia 

Desire Ahola, PO. Box 29, Nova Gradiska, 35400 CROATIA 
India 

Jeeva Kiruban. Box 3164, Guindy, Chennai 600 032, INDIA 
Ghana 

Simon Bissah, AC Church, P.O. Box 604, Nsawam, Eastern Region, GHANA 
New Zealand 

David Burge. 12 Bcttina Place. Manurewa, Auckland, NEW ZEALAND 
South Africa 

Nathan Fernando Kilima, 14 Dick Muller Drive, Norkcm Park 1620, S. AFRICA 2028 
Ni geria 

Christian Paul, Ukot Udoabia PA., Etinan, L.G.A., Akwa Ibom State, NIGERIA 
Malawi/Mozambique 

Paul Sosono, Box 190, Nsanje, Malawi 
Myanmar 

Timothy Kham Mang, Hlainta Ya Township, PO. Box 619, Yangon, Myanmar 
China 

Please send correspondence through the missions office: c/o Dept. of World Missions 

Advent Christian Witness (ISSN #0741-4302) is published bimonthly by the Advent Christian General Conference of 
America, 14601 Albemarle Rd., P.O. Box 23 152, Charlotte, NC 28227. Subscription rates in the United Stales and Canada: 
One year $15.00. Single copy $2.75. Overseas rate, one year $18.00. Periodicals postage paid at Charlotte, NC. and ad- 
ditional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Advent Christian Witness. P.O. Box 23152, Charlotte, 
NC 28227. Printed in Canada. 

As Ihc official publication of the Advent Christian General Conference, the Advent Christian Witness publishes the 
teachings of Ihc Advent Christian Church and promotes the task of disciple-making both in North America and around the 
world. Tlic vicv\s expressed in this magazine arc those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those of the editor or 
the Advent Chrislijin General Conference. Member: Evangelical Press Association. Copyright it" 2006. 

Advent Christian Witness - Januaiy/Febnaary 2006 



From the A Editor 



Contents 




Change is inevitable. Even rocks decay over time. 
Our culture expends prodigious amounts of time and 
money fighting this fact. Consider the recent boom 
in plastic surgery. And even today, a good part of our 
population still cannot accept the fact that Elvis got 
old, fat and died. They can ignore the facts, but denying 
change is like denying gravity - closing your eyes won't 
make the ground any softer. 

Too much has already been written and said about 
churches fighting change. When a group of pastors gets 
together, it probably won't be long before one of them 
sarcastically recounts a church's dying words: "We've 
never done it that way here before." While stories of 
churches fighting change are tiresome, they persist be- 
cause there's usually some truth in the observation. 

As a defender of the church, let me quickly add that not 
all change is good. I like hymns, pews, ties and steeples, 
and I think they're all well-suited to worshiping the 
Lord. But being good and well-suited provides no im- 
munity from change. I'm sure many excellent crafts- 
men built good carriages, perfectly suited to transport 
people to and fro. Yet, their careers became "road kill" 
in the wake of Henry Ford's Model T. 

Sadly, there are also plenty of churches that became 
"road kill" in the wake of changing times. Many of these 
churches had good ministries, well suited for their orig- 
inal congregations. But their congregations changed, 
their neighborhoods changed, their leadership changed 
... and they are gone. 

The church I first pastored was in North Carolina, 
less than a mile from the Atlantic Ocean. Two years 
ago I visited the location of another Advent Christian 
church, in Minneapolis. The original buildings for 
both of these congregations still stand; only the signs 
have changed. Ironically, both have become Islamic 

Advent Christian Witness - January/February 2006 



Editorial 3 

Keith Wheaton 

Editorial 5 

John Roller 

Faith of My Fathers 6 

Rev. Desire Ahola 

Muslim Conceptions of 12 

Christian Morals 

Rev. Penny Vann 

The Five Pillars of Islam 15 

Steve Ross 

Overcoming The Crisis-Driven 16 

Church 

Dr. William H. Chadwick 

A Word From Our President 22 

Dr. Thomas (Sam) Warren 

Aurora University 24 

Twisted Scriptures 25 

Rev. Tom Warren 

As Children 26 

Dawn Russell 

Desperate Housewives 28 

Carole Lewis 

Reflections 30 

Pam Buchanan 

Cover design by Tim Parolini 



mosques. Like carriage builders from last century, these 
congregations were victims of changing times. 

If there is any certain lesson to be learned from these 
two churches, it's that we are not promised tomorrow. 
Churches, like people, must savor today's blessings and 
capitalize on today's opportunities, because that's all 
we've got. If your church doesn't reach out to the new 
people in the neighborhood, the Muslims will. Next 
thing you know, your church is their mosque. 

Even if Islam isn't a major threat for your church, 
change is. Fighting change is an exercise in futility. It's 
better to embrace the change and adapt. Yet, like vain, 
middle-aged movie stars, some churches invest huge 
amounts of energy to preserve the trappings of their 
"glory days." (With each passing day I grow more sym- 
pathetic to these middle-aged movie stars.) 

For instance, how many church members have just 
collapsed after a grueling two months or more of 
preparation for the annual Christmas pageant? What 
was once the year's high point — and a great outreach 
to the community — has become yet another drain on 
the family's already over-committed schedule. But the 
church insists on preserving this "tradition" regardless 
of the cost. 




Pictured above 
is the former 
Myrtle Grove 
AC Church anJ 
he/ow the forme) 
Minneapolis AC 
Church. 



Likewise, special "revival services" used to be an ef- 
fective means of reaching the unsaved ... 50 years 
ago. Back when television had three channels, movies 
were major events, and the internet lined the inside of 
men's swimming trunks, people could be enticed into 
a church by any promise of entertainment. Today, even 
many church members won't support special services, 
let alone an unbeliever. Still, many churches cling to 
this "tradition" as if it were the only way to win souls. (I 
realize that some churches still host great revival ser- 
vices and people are saved. I also know the embarrass- 
ment of being the host pastor for a revival and having 
most of my congregation missing. And, I've been guest 
speaker at revival services and heard an embarrassed 
pastor apologize for his church's poor attendance.) I 
can't help but wonder if these churches are still building 
carriages - even though Ford has opened a dealership 
down the street. 

Your church isn't the only organization that must adapt 
to changing times. In order to remain effective, Advent 
Christian General Conference is adapting to changing 
times as well. Starting January 1, ACGC has made some 
initial steps toward adopting a new structure. The for- 
mer departments of world missions, church relations, 
publications and services will likely be dissolved and 
four new departments will share these responsibilities. 
More than simply re-labeling departments, the new 
structure reassigns ministry responsibilities. 

One reassignment involves moving all of the Chris- 
tian education and bookstore responsibilities from 
the department of services to a new department of 
communications. My job no longer focuses on ACGC 
publications alone; now I will oversee all types of com- 
munication issued by all departments. Fortunately for 
me, I will also gain the skills and expertise of the staff of 
Christian education. So I am pleased to announce Dr. 
John Roller will be assuming most of my responsibili- 
ties as editor of the Advent Christian Witness. As coor- 
dinator of publications he will edit virtually everything 
ACGC publishes, including periodicals, electronic 
mailings, websites, letters, etc. It will be his privilege to 
share his thoughts in this space, as it has 
been mine for the past eight years. 



I confess I'm a little apprehensive about 
the change. I kind of like things the way 
they used to be. But I'll heed my own 
advice and savor today's blessings and 
capitalize on today's opportunities. Oth- 
erwise, I might find myself surrounded 
by carriage builders, in the shadow of a 
mosque. 'ir' 



Advent Christian Witness - January/February 2006 



From theNBVEditor 




During the past eight years many of you who at- 
tended conference and regional meetings heard 
me introduced with the statement, "John Roller 
wears a lot of hats for the Advent Christian Gener- 
al Conference." Well, now I've acquired a new one! 

It all started when, after working one-fourth time 
as North American area director for urban/ethnic 
ministries for a year, I was asked to take on a three- 
fourths time responsibility as resource center coor- 
dinator. Two distinct jobs; one full-time employee. 

Now, as the year 2006 dawns (Why do I feel like 
I'm writing a future-fiction novel?), ACGC is un- 
dergoing an interesting period of structural reor- 
ganization (Well, it's interesting to those of us who 
work here, anyway.). And part of my new "hat" is 
to explain all this to you, the Advent Christian Wit- 
ness reader. 

The department of nurture, department of opera- 
tions, department of communications and depart- 
ment of world outreach, represent the proposed 
restructuring of the services provided through 
Advent Christian General Conference. The func- 
tions of the department of church relations, de- 
partment of services, department of publications 
and department of world missions are to be incor- 
porated in this new structure. Richard Russell, who 
was director of church relations, is now director of 
operations. Keith Wheaton, who was director of 
publications, is now director of communications. 
Jim Smith, who was director of services, retired 
last June. Harold Patterson, who was director of 
world missions, will soon be serving as pastor of 
the Advent Christian Church in Margaretville, 
N.Y. Tim Fox, who had been serving as pastor of 



the Church of New Hope, in Lewiston, Idaho, has 
joined us (as of January 1, 2006) as director of 
world outreach. And we hope we will soon be able 
to announce who will be joining us as director of 
nurture. 

Where does that leave the man with all those "hats?" 

Many of my former responsibilities as North 
American Area director for urban/ethnic minis- 
tries will be reassigned to various personnel in the 
departments of nurture and world outreach. 

Many of my former responsibilities as resource 
center coordinator will be reassigned to various 
personnel in the departments of operations and 
communications. 

Some of my former responsibilities will still be 
mine. But I have a brand-new "hat" to wear, and 
it'll be the only "hat" 1 have: "coordinator of publi- 
cations." My new duties will include editing every 
item that is published by ACGC — checking it for 
everything from spelling and grammar to factual 
accuracy and theological correctness. 

It's a daunting challenge! I'm acutely aware, now, 
that every criticism you (the reader) have, about 
anything ACGC puts out, will be directed^zrs^ to 
me (before I have a chance to deflect it to anyone 
else!) 

It also means, though, that I have the incredible 
privilege of being the "filter" through which all of 
our writings pass on their way from the writer's 
mind to the reader's eyes. That means 1 get to 
know what Advent Christians are thinking about 
in a way that, perhaps, no one else in our world- 
wide "family" gets to know! 

And that is the part that excites me, because I love 
the Advent Christian denomination — its mem- 
bers, its pastors, its churches, its conferences, its 
regions, its mission work, and most of all, its Lord. 
So please pray for me, as I pray for you, and espe- 
cially as I put on my new "hat" and begin to think 
about the message we're communicating to the 
world. 

Now: did I spell any of those words wrong? ... 1^ 

John Roller 



Advent Christian Witness - January/Febmary 2006 



-«!' 



PAtTH OP MY 
PATHEKS 



%ev,^esim!Afiola 





:«:♦•»>< 



?Jr^ 





H 


1 


■1 



As 

my father married 

his third wife, things became 

worse in our home. ... going to 

consult witches ... as idolatry 

entered our home. 



hardly could one be at- 
tacked by other childi 
' , Those children who 





BBm 




B 




■■■ 




H9 




H 



H 




^H 


|H| 




^HIH 


■H 




^^pB 


Bmmp 




SmHEmM 






— ftlill 



HiiiBKnai»:imi 



My father started 

having doubt in Islam in 1967 

when the Arab states joined and 

attacl<ed the State of Israel. 



:ircumcised? This ( 

" ith of mv toreta 



ramer, nis wives an 
ed to the Presbyter 



xiiued to circumc 
iristian, I beca^np 





1 


■ 







Moslems. He said to me 



really decided to know more 



conquest of Eg) 
lims a foothold 
for them to invc 
He said to the n 
of Egypt, 'There 
you except thre 
become our bre 


pt would gain for the Mus 
in Syria and make it easier 
ide Africa to spread Islam.' 
lessengers of the governor 
is nothing between us anc 
e things: a) Embrace Islam 
thren and you will have 



Arab horseman re- 
ceived 12,000 dirham 

2. "Abu 'Ubavda invade 



My forefathers be- 
came Moslems not by con- 
viction, but by compulsion of faith. 
They never found logic or reason 
and truth in the teachings of 
Muhammad. 



■HH 


jmiiiiiii} 


IH 


IB 


im 


■ 



yiiB]:liMl» 



IS invaded lerusalem. He 

len its Chris- 



and became subject to 



?rusalem and laid the foundation of the 



iKKicwiMitra 



x; What ren 
and poly^ 
long time 
It was the 


nains tl 
jamy w 


"le true 


fact is 


n^ 


MiMUi 


LCision 


^^^ 


'diWJ«l 


S9B 


HQI^ 


wiBnasi 


before 


BBBI 


;iiiH«K< 


BM 


FSHb 


^^^3 


' mark 


that m^ 


I forefj 


ither 


s have 


accepted 


the Jewis 


tl faith 


and abi 


dedb^ 


A the 


Law of 


Moses. 


With the 
cans acce 


comin 
ptedC 


g of the 
hristiar 


Messi 
lity wl 


ah,r 
lerea 


nost of 
s other 


the Afri- 
s remain 



not compulsory. "Let each be fully convinced in his 
own mind" (Rom. 14:5). When the African, Ethio- 



that there had never been compulsion with the 
Christian faith. It is worth it to mention that the 
first Christian church was buih in Africa. 

How unfortunate were my forefathers. They were 
invaded by the Arabs who killed thousands of 
them, divided the booty, and forced the remnant 
to embrace Islam. It is quite clear to me why my fa 
ther had to change from the Islamic faith that was 
imposed to my forefathers to become Christian. 
My forefathers became Moslems not by convic- 
tion, but bv compulsion of faith. Thev never found 



self as an excellent mo 
whose hope is i 
Muhamr " 
divorce, rer 



A eood Moslem must be 



anitv, between Muhar 



Are the black Africans the only unfortunate pe( 

pie? The clear answer is no! The people of Jorde 

Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, 

Libya, all the Arab tribes, 

Spain, China, Ind'*^ 

Cyprus and the Kuras, 

all are unfortunate 

peoples and iiauui 

who became victiix*^ 

of Islamic Law which 

detests human rights. 



Christianity appears 

to be the only true practi 

cal reUgion of equaUty, Uberty, and 

fraternity. A religion whereby the 

founder died to give freedom to 

his followers. 



whether my father w 

ic faith imposed to oui lauieib lui lum u 

a Christian; Jesus Christ led no w 

oj^.ead the Christian faith, tc 

vide the bootv and to ca 



lam as defined in the Quran 



)reme Being, 
IS presented 
libertv, a ^ '' 



— no liberation. JV 
freedom ?"'^ «n.,o 



MMHMHfl 
iiiMiiiiLiBMBMfc 



vide the booty and to capture 
women to enslave them for 
himself and for his follow- 
ers. Jesus Christ did not 
order his followers to do 
Qr> Tpciiq rhrist Order Peter 

^ord when 

led it and struck 
it of the Jewish high priest 
when Christ' s enemies hastened to arrest him. 
^i.„._.. J Jjsciples did not 

ike poll-taxes 



fesus Christ said: "But you, do not be called 'Rabbi' 
' " ■ .- . / laster). the 



chased (more slaves) than he sold. H 
one black slave for two. The n; 
Lcob al-Mudbir. Jacob is not an Afri 



U^fflSRInTsaMfsTliiTlSijf 



was one of the blacks who 



e fonce) sold 




Jewish 
im. the te« 



no punishment for one who makes false accusation 



Talking about Muhammad the founder of Islam, 
he was an illiterate young man who was engage<" 
by a wealthy widow — merchant, Khadiija to look 
after her mercantile business, with result that she. 



ci exalts himself will be abased 
\e who humbles himself will be 



Paul, the follower of Tesus Christ, met a slave called 

. his master, Phile- 
mon. Onesimus met the apostle Paul in Rome and 
s converted to Christianity not compulsory but 

ion with 



veryimpres 



Advent Christian 



Isl 



am 



Cnristianity 




<i>i Clwis.^ii*iP) Morals. :; 



By Peni^y Vann 



Statistics from the year 2000 suggest that 
just over one out of every six people on 
earth is Muslim. They can be found not 
only in places like the Philippines but also 
in Lake City, Florida. In recent years the church 
has been challenged to reach them for Christ. In 
order to reach them with the gospel we must un- 
derstand their definition of a Christian. This article 
will focus on what Muslims have shared with us 
— or others close to us — about what Christianity 
is to them. The article will then consider how we 
might clarify any misunderstanding. 

The concept that Christianity was misunderstood 
was brought home to us a few years ago on Mindi- 
nao, where our Muslim landlord spent time telling 
us that "if, as Christians believe, there were three 
gods, there would be disorder because they would 
fight. So, there can only be one God." She had a 
distorted view of what we call the trinity; therefore 
she defined Christians as being polytheists. 

A Muslim's misunderstanding of Christianity is not 
only found in the area of theology, but also in the 
area of Christian ethics. We learned this at a meet- 
ing where we listened to a prominent Filipino mis- 
Advent Christian Witness - January/February 2006 



sionary to Muslims. He was talking about some of 
the obstacles of reaching Muslims with the Gospel 
of Jesus Christ. What surprised us was an obstacle 
he mentioned. Christian morals. He said that "ac- 
cording to some Muslims, to become a Christian 
is to become an idol worshiper, pork eater, alcohol 
drinker. They are people who do all these things, 
plus they commit all kinds of blatant social sins. 
They see Islam as a religion of personal discipline 
and Christianity as a rejection of that discipline." 

There is plenty of empirical evidence for this as- 
sumption in the Philippines as well as the U.S. 
The Philippines declares that it is the only Chris- 
tian nation in Asia. Yet, the country has a terrible 
track record of corruption and violence. In the 
cities, the nightclubs advertise the need for GRO 
"hospitality girls." Hotels promise privacy and low, 
three-hour rates. One advertised right outside our 
house, offering three hours for three dollars. Philip 
Parshal, in The cross and the crescent: Reflections 
on Christian- Muslim spirituality (Tyndale House, 
1989) compares the quiet, contemplative atmo- 
sphere of the Mosque with his visit to a Cathedral 
where people sold religious relics, and women 
hounded him to buy lottery tickets at the door. I 



13 



visited one Cathedral that had signs posted saying 
NO DATING. I have also been to worship services 
where unmarried couples snuggled in the pews. 
This must confound Muslims, as men and women 
worship separately in mosques. 

The U.S claims to be founded on Christian values, 
yet our movies and TV shows often show immod- 
est, loose girls and people profaning God's name. 
So, "Christian America" is seen as exporting vice to 
the rest of the world. This prejudice was witnessed 
by students of the Bible College. Two female stu- 
dents were talking to a Muslim female teenager 
who said, "I wish I could be a Christian so that I 
could be a "liberated" girl." They pressed her to 
explain and she replied, "You get to dress however 
you want in fashionable clothes — even wearing 
shorts —and you can date and kiss any boy you 
want to." Obviously this girl does not have the 
proper perspective on what it means to be a Chris- 
tian. Her definition comes, not from theological or 
Biblical sources, but from what she sees. 

The last incidence 1 would like to bring up is when 
a Muslim acquaintance shared with me that "Islam 
makes everyone equal, for when Christians go to 
church they dress in expensive clothes so the poor 
cannot go. But, in Islam we need no expensive 
clothes so everyone is welcome and equal." I was 
amazed at the statement because in the Philip- 
pines people dress up less for church than here in 
the U.S. However, in this article I am dealing with 
perceptions, and this is hers. A recent article by 
Warren Larson in the January, 2005 Evangelical 
Missions Quarterly suggests African Americans 
are turning to Islam because there is discrimina- 
tion in the churches and not true unity. 

If we are going to reach Muslims for Christ, the 
following challenges need to be considered: 

Our first challenge: is their definition of Christians 
and Christianity true? Are we idol-worshippers, 
drunkards, immodest and loose? Are we preju- 
diced towards others we call brothers in Christ? 
Obviously, biblically the church is not those things, 
but is this what we are portraying to the world? If 
it is, then we must make some major corrections. 



Our second challenge: we must walk our talk. We 
must endeavor to let scripture dictate our everyday 
life. This includes what we wear, what movies we 
see, our family life and our political voice. 

Our third challenge: we must be sensitive to their 
culture. I am not talking about wearing a veil but 
rather dressing modestly. We can show Christ's 
love to them by inviting them to our home or out 
for coffee and not having pork or alcohol but dis- 
cussing theological differences as well. For an even 
better understanding of a Muslim's view of Christi- 
anity, I encourage you to seek them out. I}' 



Reference List 

1. Parshall, Phil. 1989. The cross 
and the crescent: Reflections on 
Christian- Muslim spirituality. 

Wheaton, 111. Tyndale 
House. 

2. Larson, Warren. 2005. A 
Christian response to Islam in 
America. Evangelical Missions 
Quarterly y January, 41: 48-55. 




14 



Penny Vann, her husband, Jeff, and their two 
daughters are AC missionaries in the Philippines. 



Advent Christian Witness - January/February 2006 



The 'Five Pillars' of Islam 

The foundation of Muslim life: 

Faith or belief in the Oneness of God and the finaUty of the prophethood of Muhammad; 

Establishment of the daily prayers; 

Concern for and almsgiving to the needy; 

Self-purification through fasting; and 

The pilgrimage to Makkah for those who are able. 

Iman or Faith - "There is none worthy of worship except God and Muhammad is the messenger of God." This declara- 
tion of faith is called the Shahadah, a simple formula that all the faithful pronounce. The significance of this declaration is 
the belief that the only purpose of life is to serve and obey God, and this is achieved through the teachings and practices 
of the Last Prophet, Muhammad. 

Salah or Prayer - is the name for the obligatory prayers that are performed five times a day, and are a direct link between 
the worshipper and God. There is no hierarchical authority in Islam and there are no priests. Prayers are said at dawn, 
mid-day, late-afternoon, sunset and nightfall. These five prescribed prayers contain verses from the Quran, and are said 
in Arabic. 

A translation of the Adan or Call to Prayer is: God is Great. God is Great. God is Great. God is Great. I testify that 
there is none worthy of worship except God. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except God. I testify that Mu- 
hammad is the messenger of God. I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of God. Come to prayer! Come to prayer! 
Come to success! Come to success! God is Great! God is Great! There is none worthy of worship except God. 

Zakah - The financial obligation upon Muslims - An important principle of Islam is that everything belongs to God, 
and that wealth is, therefore, held by human beings in trust. Our possessions are purified by setting aside a proportion 
for those in need and for the society in general. 

Each Muslim calculates his or her own zakah individually. This involves the annual payment of a fortieth of one's capi- 
tal, excluding such items as primary residence, car and professional tools. 

An individual may also give as much as he or she pleases, and does so preferably in secret. Although this word can be 
translated as "voluntary charity" it has a wider meaning. The Prophet said, "Even meeting your brother with a cheerful face 
is an act of charity." The Prophet also said: "Charity is a necessity for eveiy Muslim." He was asked: "What if a person has 
nothing?" The Prophet replied: "He should work with his own hands for his benefit and then give something out of such earn- 
ings in charity." The Companions of the Prophet asked: "What if he is not able to work?" The Prophet said: "He should help 
the poor and needy." The Companions further asked: "What if he cannot do even that?" The Prophet said: "He should urge 
others to do good." The Companions said: "What if he lacks that also?" The Prophet said: "He should check himself from 
doing evil. That is also an act of charity." 

Sawm or Fasting - Every year in the month of Ramadan, all Muslims fast from dawn until sundown. Although fasting is 
beneficial to health, it is mainly a method of self-purification and self-restraint. By cutting oneself from worldly comforts, 
even for a short time, a fasting person focuses on his or her purpose in life by constantly being aware of the presence of God. 
God states in the Qur'an: "O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed to those before you that you 
may learn self-restraint." (Qur'an 2:183) 

Haii or Pilgrimage - The pilgrimage to Makkah (the hajj) is an obligation only for those who are physically and financially 
able to do so. The annual hajj begins in the twelfth month of the Islamic year (which is lunar, not solar, so that hajj and 
Ramadan fall sometimes in summer, sometimes in winter). Pilgrims wear special clothes: simple garments that strip away 
distinctions of class and culture, so that all stand equal before God. The rites of the hajj, which are of Abrahamic origin, in- 
clude going around the Ka'bah seven times, and going seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwa as did Hagar (Hajir, 
Abraham's wife) during her search for water. The pilgrims later stand together on the wide plains of 'Arafat (a large expanse 
of desert outside Makkah) and join in prayer for God's forgiveness, in what is often thought as a preview of the Day of Judg- 
ment. The close of the hajj is marked by a festival, the 'Id al Adha, which is celebrated with prayers and the exchange of gifts 
in Muslim communities everywhere. I^ 

Acknowledgement: The text is based from the Poster Exhibit of Discover Islam, compiled by Ishaq Zahid 
Advent Christian Witness - January/February 2006 



15 



t 




Overcoming 

f/je crisis fdriven I 




^%b«,. 



by Dn William H. Chadwick 



If there were a word that you could use 
to describe the "normal" operating at- 
mosphere of your church what would it 
he? "Oh that's easy" replied the church 
lay-leader, "The word I would use is- 
' Crisis'" 

OUR STRUGGLE 

Confronting crisis in this world is nothing new. 
Jesus' entire ministry seemed steeped in events 
and confrontations that could easily be catego- 
rized as crisis situations. Crisis — twenty-two 
biblical accounts of injured people begging him 
for divine healing of both body and soul; Crisis 
— Jewish bible scholars arguing points of the 
law, hoping for entrapment with punitive con- 
sequences; Crisis — disgruntled followers com- 
plaining about Jesus' methodology and goals; 
Crisis — political enemies plotting his demise. 
Jesus warned his disciples that crisis would be 
the motis operandi for their ministries when he 
said, "In this world you will have tribulations, 



hut be of good cheer, for I have over-come this world." 

The Epistles of the Apostle Paul fair no better. His 
staunch confrontational words addressed to trou- 
blemakers in the churches, his powerful theological 
teachings against heresy, his passionate pleads for 
unity, reflect the apostle's familiarity with battling 
crisis. So closely are crisis associated with the work 
of the Gospel that the apostle Peter wrote, "Do not 
be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, 
as though something strange were happening to you. 
But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of 
Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory 
is revealed" {I Peter 4:12f ). 

In the early church, engaging in crisis was a sign of 
validation — a clear indicator that you were serv- 
ing the will of God. Martyrdom became a badge 
of honor that was so highly valued that Paul used 
it as an example to elevate the value of love when 
he wrote; "If I give my body to be burned, but have 
not love ..." (1 Corinthians 13). St. Augustine wrote 
that the "Blood of the Martyrs, was the seed of the 



Advent Christian Witness - January/February 2006 



17 



church," emphasizing again that crisis was part of 
our faith, and that God used such events for his 
glory. 

Indeed, with Satan as our adversary, we would 
be pretty naive to think that we would not be 
frequently confronted with crisis situations. As 
Peter warns, 
"Be self-con- 
trolled, and 
alert. Your en- 
emy, the devil, 
prowls around 
like a roaring 
lion looking 
for someone to 
devour" (Peter 
5:8). So serious 
is the battle, 
so common 
the encounter 
with hostile 
forces that, 
in Ephesians, 
Paul writes one 
of the most 
graphic and 

eloquent passages in the scriptures to describe 
our conflict with the enemy when he pens, "Put 
on the full armor of God, so when the day of evil 
comes, you may be able to stand your ground ..." 
(Eph. 6:13). 

ARROWS IN THE BACK 

"I do not mind taking arrows in my chest as I lead 
the church into battle — that is part of my calling" 
said the Pastor "But the arrows in my back from 
individuals of small character within the church 
— those are the arrows that kill you" 

But this article is not about noble battles of 
advancing the kingdom of God against the gates 
of Hades. No, this article is about ignoble battles 
that are fought in the confines of the church. The 
"Crisis-Driven Church" is a church where inter- 
nal conflict and crisis have become the new op- 
erating standard of the church. In this mode the 




church's day-to-day mission is inwardly focused 
on preservation and maintenance, as opposed to 
the outwardly focused business of the kingdom 
of heaven (Matthew 28:19). 

For the "Crisis-Driven Church," crisis manag e- 
ment is the working administrative model. This 

model expends 
the church's 
energy ad- 
dressing the 
never-ending 
fires of urgent 
issues that 
overwhelm 
church leader- 
ship teams. It 
is a disabilitat- 
ing manage- 
ment style that 
leaves no room 
for produc- 
tive planning, 
vision-casting 
or renewal. It 
is an exhaust- 
ing process 
because each issue is measured subjectively, (as 
opposed to objectively), and the potential for of- 
fended parties and inter-church conflict is un- 
reasonably high. It is also the number-one style 
of management for most churches fewer than 
80 people, because it is a style that requires the 
highly-valued direct personal interaction with 
the pastor. 

WHY DO PASTORS OR 

CHURCHES ENGAGE IN CRISIS 

MANAGEMENT? 

Pastors engage in crisis management on a num- 
ber of different levels. Some pastors are forced 
into this dysfunctional management scheme. 
Many small churches maintain control of the 
church by using crisis to direct the attention and 
energy of the ministry, or to eliminate leader- 
ship they no longer support. Pastors who find 
themselves in these settings often simply try to 



18 



Advent Christian Witness - Januaiy/February 2006 



survive by oiling squeaky wheels and patching 
the dam wherever they see a leak. Typically the 
best they will produce from their investment of 
time is some short-term ministry patches, and a 
three-year tenure. Often their departure is under 
duress and damaging to one or both parties. 

On another level some pastors are enablers of 
crisis management because they find that this 
style energizes them. Pastors with strong per- 
sonalities and high fix-it meters, thrive on the 
"fire house" atmosphere of the "crisis-driven 
church." When the alarm goes off, they slide 
down the pole and race to the scene to rescue the 
distressed and receive the love and admiration 
of the crowds. Crashing into burning buildings, 
wearing the badge of a hero, goes a long way to 



Rarely do "crisis -driven 
churches" attract anything 
other than the already 
saved, disenfranchised and 
wounded people 



filling the tremendous void in self-esteem many 
of the clergy confront. At this level of play they 
are needed and inexpendable. 

At a third level, crisis management is an easy way 
to run a church. There is no planning required 
as each event determines the course of the day. 
Crisis helps to define preaching topics/ministry 
venues/and mission. There can be periods of 
unregulated time before the storm, allowing per- 
sonal activities to be enjoyed. Finally, busyness is 
one by-product of racing from crisis to crisis that 
is perceived by the flock as productive, granting 
creditability to the pastor's job. 

People in the church like crisis management 
because it demands a one-on-one touch from the 
pastor. A person's needs become very powerful 



because they become the all-consuming criteria 
for ministry success. Failure to meet a person's 
needs is a failure to pastor effectively. This power 
over important people and ministry priorities 
can become intoxicating, and demanding atten- 
tion, addictive. 

Crisis management also is a way for church veter- 
ans to control the church. As mentioned before, 
the agenda is set by the needs of the congregation 
or an individual on any given day. By producing 
"crisis" resources that are not addressing a "cri- 
sis," they become diversions from other programs 
or projects. "We need that money for the boiler 
... we can't do 40 Days," or "Pastor could you visit 
my aunt who is dying in the nursing home ... you 
will be too busy for starting up small groups." 
Although dysfunctional and circumventing, crisis 
management is a time-honored traditional way to 
manipulate a church's mission. 



"CRISIS-DRIVEN CHURCHES" ARE 
KILLING THE "KINGDOM" 

Rarely do "crisis-driven churches" attract any- 
thing other than the already saved, disenfran- 
chised and wounded people. They commonly 
experience high pastoral turnover rates, loss of 
evangelical impact, declining growth patterns, 
declining revenue, loss of vision and purpose and 
dissention in the ranks at all levels. The end result 
of this management method is that it is killing 
the local church in America and in our denomi- 
nation. 

Leith Anderson writes; "Eighty-five per- 
cent of America's Protestant churches are 
either stagnating or dying. Many of the 
sincere and committed Christians who 
still faithfully fill the family pews in these 
churches hold on to the nostalgic hope 
that tomorrow will be yesterday. Others 
desperately want their churches to catch 
up with the times and meet the challenges 
of the present generation, but they don't 
know how. And still others doggedly fight 
the inevitable changes for the sake of tra- 



Advent Christian Witness - January/February 2006 



19 



ditions that would be better abandoned. 
... What is happening to our churches and 
our organizations? And what can we do 
about it? Many good people desperately 
want to know" (Dying for Change p. 10). 

HOW CAN A CHURCH DIS- 
COVER IF THEY ARE A "CRISIS- 
DRIVEN CHURCH?" 

The answer is simple. Churches need to do a self- 
evaluation . This evaluation, however, will differ 
greatly from the ones that churches usually use to 
determine the health of the organization (atten- 
dance and income). In this examination we will 
focus on the tell-tale signs that are characteristics 
of a "crisis-driven church." 

There are seven warning signs of a "crisis-driv- 
en church" If your church regularly engages in 
three or more of these characteristics, then you 
must consider the fact that your church-manage- 
ment style is unhealthy and in need of change. 

THE SEVEN CHARACTERISTICS OF 
A "CRISIS DRIVEN CHURCH:" 

1. Low or no conversions experienced 

annually: This is a healthy indicator of 
whether your ministry is inwardly or 
outwardly focused. It also measures your 
compliance with the Great Commission, 
and your ability to focus on the number- 
one charge to any church body — con- 
version growth. 

2. Lack of planning, lack of vision: Church- 
es that are consumed with the tyranny 

of the urgent, rarely spend time looking 
to God for plans for the future. If your 
church never has board-planning retreats, 
staff-planning days, or a clear vision for 
the ministry, then you will have a reactive 
ministry profile. Typically a crisis-driven 
church considers spending time planning 
a waste of time that would have been bet- 
ter spent "doing." In these environments 
the tail wags the dog, and effective minis- 
try is rarely achieved. 



3. High Leadership Turnover Rate: The 

standard term for a pastor in a healthy 
church is seven years. The most dynamic 
years of leadership effectiveness occur 
in years: five to seven, 14 to 17, and 21 
and up. If your church fails to reach these 
longevity milestones, then you are failing 
to maximize your leaderships potential, 
perhaps because of the burnout rate asso- 
ciated with crisis-management systems. 

4. Subversive Discord: Tongues, tales, and 

triangles; churches that have dysfunction- 
al leadership and relational systems tend 
to undermine effective ministry by con- 
suming the pastor and staff's energy trying 
to put out fires. "Crisis-driven churches" 
often are plagued with internal, "issues," 
such as ghost grievances and division. 

5. Resistance to Change: (We have never 

done it that way before.) Even though 
crisis management is dysfunctional, it 
is a known entity, and, by virtue of that 
fact, it can become "safe." Churches that 
are addicted to this management style 
see change as a major threat. Anything 
that might remove the familiar, ability 
to control, self-focus, or other perceived 
benefits of a crisis-driven atmosphere 
will be harshly rejected. Fear forces this 
church into maintaining a bad ministry 
rather than facing the potential of losing 
the known, "comfort zone." 

6. Lack of Corporate Involvement: A "cri- 

sis-driven church" will trend away from 
discipleship, training, team mentalities, 
and body involvement. They typically ex- 
perience "Lone Ranger" leadership styles 
whereby one person runs the program 
and controls all aspects of the ministry. 
This unfortunately lends itself to large 
subjective ownership issues, rejection 
of new personnel, huge personal hurt 
potential, and burnout. 

7. Dying: Decline often follows a church 

that is in a perpetual state of crisis. 
People are not attracted to the seven 
characteristics that mark a "crisis-driven 
church." Churches that are dying must 



20 



Advent Christian Witness - January/February 2006 



seriously consider if their management 
style has led to their demise. 

IS THERE HOPE? 

The American Heritage Dictionary defines a cri- 
sis as, "A crucial point in the course of anything; 
a turning point " In Chinese, two characters are 
pressed together in their written language to cre- 
ate the word for crisis. The first character repre- 
sents disaster, and the second, opportunity. 

The church is the embodiment of Jesus Christ 
in the world today. Jesus fought for the church, 
loved the church, and died for the church. It 
would strike me as unbelievable that churches 
in need of his help were beyond the reach of his 
hand. The question, as always when one is talk- 
ing about the things of faith, is, do you trust him? 
Can you let go and let God? Will you allow him to 
be the head of your church, or will you continue 
to grasp the reigns? 



Change is hard, but for our denomination, not 
to change is no longer an option. Gone are the 
glory days; gone too, are the coasting days, and 
hard upon us are the days of decline. We can be 
retooled for effective ministry, or we can choose 
to die, and some other movement will take our 
place. The decision is ours, and the ultimate 
response lies in our desire to be proactive or 
passive. Remember: not to make a decision is a 
decision. 

Join us in The Witness as in the months ahead we 
will feature ways to overcome the seven charac- 
teristics of a Crisis-Driven Church.'^ 



Dr. William H. Chadwick is serving as pastor of the 
Stroudwater Christian Church (AC) in Portland, 
Maine 




Advent Christian Witness - January/February 2006 



21 




Advent Christian 

General Conference 

President 

Dr. Thomas S. Warren II 



22 



A WORD FROM 
OUR PRESIDENT 

Making the World Think! 



I have a friend named Murray. He's been at his church for 
27 years as pastor. To put it mildly, he's a nut! I mean that 
in the most respectful way. A few years ago, I took him to 
Israel and I wondered sometimes if we were going to get out 
of there alive. For example, Murray was asked to ride a camel 
for a small donation. He resisted at first but eventually decid- 
ed to give it a try. Everything was going well until they tried 
to put a turban on his head. In reaction, you could hear Mur- 
ray declare in a loud voice, "I can't do that, I'm no Palestin- 
ian!" You can imagine how that comment sent us scurrying 
for a crevice in the wall. In the end, Murray climbed aboard 
the camel and his "yee ha" cheer could be heard across the 
city as he rode that camel like a cowboy in a rodeo. 

Murray is just one member of a special group of men in my 
life. For the past 10 years I have met twice a month with a 
group of pastors for fellowship and food. It's a time when we 
talk, laugh, cry and encourage each other in any way that we 
can. You might not recognize us as pastors if you saw us be- 
cause our group is an interesting group. Some are dressed in 
shorts while others are dressed more formally. But it doesn't 
matter. Some are quiet and some are much more vocal. Yet, 
over the years I have seen the quiet ones open up and the 
louder ones tone it down as we have come to know and love 
each other. Quite honestly, our relationship has matured to 
the point that I would have to think about it for a minute be- 
fore I could tell you what denomination each man represents. 

As an Advent Christian I am accepted in this group. They 
don't strike me off their list because I hold to some theologi- 
cal beliefs that differ from theirs. In fact, over the years we 
have talked very openly about the nature of man and other 
biblical teachings in a way that is constructive. One reason 
for this is that they respect me, and the reason they respect 
me is that we have been in relationship with each other for 
many years. They know that I am not a quack (well, maybe 
I am a quack), but they love me anyway. They can look past 

Advent Christian Witness - January/February 2006 



our differences and be committed to our relation- 
ship because we all love Jesus. 

Recently I met a man in the store who was the 

pastor of the Mount Zion Church of God on 

Normandy Blvd. (not too far from our church). He 

was helping Janice, the store owner. As we talked, 

I suggested that he come and be a part of our 

group. He told me that he wished he had known 

about our group 10 years ago when he first came 

to his church. At that time, he 

went around asking area pas 

tors if they would like to 

get together regularly 

for fellowship and 

prayer. Many said 

that they would get 

back with him, but no 

one ever called. He stated 

very clearly that he needed our 

kind of group. As our discussion 

continued, we ended up once again reacting in 

amazement at how little the church acts like the 

church. We wondered how long we are going to 

keep allowing our differences and busy schedules 

to keep us apart. 

About that time Steve walked into the store and 
entered our conversation. He's a great guy, but he, 
too, has been through the gauntlet when it comes 
to struggles in life in ministry. A few years ago, he 
went away on vacation and when he returned the 
church informed him that he had been dismissed 
from his position as pastor. For quite awhile he 
was devastated and discouraged until he found our 
group. He is now laughing and filled with joy again 
as he sees what God is doing in his life. His office 
is in the bookstore and he uses the computers in 
the store to do his research. I'll never forget what 
he asked, "Why don't we build a mall church? You 
know, with a food court and a bookstore in the 
center and have each corridor lead to our par- 
ticular church. Yours down there and mine down 
here?" His words (in jest) suggested that that's 
about the only way we could be together. I listened, 
but I thought to myself, "Is that what we've come 
to?" 



Later on in the evening I began to think about 
what Steve had said earlier. I began to think about 
the reasons our group was together and what it 
was that bound us to each other. It quickly became 
clear to me that we had bonded together so well 
because we all love Jesus and that was more im- 
portant than whether or not the other guy believed 
the way I did about a particular subject. Some- 
times 1 think that Advent Christians don't want 
anything to do with other people unless they be- 
lieve in Conditional Immortality. 



Interestingly, Jesus said that 
the world would know that we 
are his disciples by the way we 
love each other. ... I wonder, 
"What does the world think?" 



Maybe we could learn 
a lesson from this. 
Maybe we should 
ask the Lord to give 
us a new heart that 
loves and reaches out to 
people because that's what 
Jesus would do and not because 
they think a particular way. Maybe 
we should ask the Lord to show us how we really 
are when it comes to living our lives for him with 
other people, especially when they differ from us. 

Today I heard a clip on the radio from an NFL 
player stating, "I ain't no divisive person." This was 
after he declared the day before that his quarter- 
back, not his coach, was the reason for the team's 
failure this year. When confronted about his verbal 
attack, he gave a weak and flippant apology about 
what he had done. Too late! The damage had been 
done. A football team can't tolerate this kind of 
behavior from members of the team. They are a 
team, and they need to work together. 

The church is a team too! Not just Advent Chris- 
tians, but every one. Yes, we will disagree on 
certain matters, but we must be diligent in lov- 
ing the lost like Jesus did. Perhaps we could learn 
how to do that better if we start loving each other 
first. Interestingly, Jesus said that the world would 
know that we are his disciples by the way we love 
each other (John 13:35). I wonder, "What does the 
world think?" U" 



Advent Christian Witness - January/February 2006 



23 



I Aur 



Aurora 



Scholarships Available to Advent Christian Students 

With strong roots in the Advent Christian Church, Aurora University has several schol- 
arships for Advent Christian students or for individuals who want to pursue a career in 
Advent Christian ministries, Christian service and/or social services. The scholarships have 



TJri l'yp|*cif\7' been made possible by generous gifts of friends and alumni, many of whom are Advent 
^ Christians. The total amount awarded in 2005-2006 was $34,313. 

Aurora University traces its origins to the 1893 founding of a seminary in the small town of Mendota, IL. Though 
established initially to prepare graduates for ministry, the institution soon adopted a broader mission and moved 
to a new campus on the western edge of the nearby community of Aurora. With this change came a different 
name and a growing enrollment. When World War II ended, the campus population swelled again as veterans 
enrolled in the college's innovative evening degree program. The 1970s and 1980s saw an expansion of curricular 
offerings in a number of professional fields and the awarding of advanced degrees in selected disciplines. These 
changes culminated in the 1985 decision to re-christen the institution Aurora University. 

Today, Aurora University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association 
to award degrees at the baccalaureate, master's and doctoral levels. The institution enrolls approximately 4,000 
degree-seeking students a year on its Illinois and Wisconsin campuses. AU offers its undergraduates a wide range 
of on and off-campus learning experiences. Students participate in more than 40 musical, literary, religious, social 
and service organizations and play actives roles in campus governance. The university also fields sixteen NCAA 
Division III intercollegiate athletic teams. 

Today, as in the past, we prize the twin virtues of character and scholarship and affirm our commitment to our 
core values of integrity, citizenship, continuous learning and excellence. We make available a variety of scholarship 
and financial aid packages and work with each student to provide an outstanding education at an affordable price. 

For enrollment information, contact AU's Office of Admission and Financial Aid at 800-742-5281, 630-844-5533 
or admission@aurora.edu. 



APPLICATION FOR ADVENT CHRISTIAN ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIPS 

Aurora University receives funds, on a restricted basis, from friends and alumni of the Advent Christian 
Church. Awards are based on number of applicants and availability of funds. The deadline for applications is 
April 15, 2006. 

Restricted requirements include: (1) Admission to undergraduate program at Aurora University (2) Full-time 
enrollment (minimum of 12 semester hours) (3) Association with Advent Christian Church 

If you feel you meet these requirements and wish to be considered for these endowed funds, please complete 
the following. Successful applicants will be notified of their award. 

Name 

Address 

City State Zip 

Home Telephone Cell Phone 

E-mail Address 

NOTE: Please attach a brief paragraph outhning why you feel these scholarship funds should be awarded to you. 

Your completed application may be returned to the Admission and Financial Aid Office or faxed to 
630-844-5535. Applications are also available by e-mail. Contact persons and their e-mail addresses are: 

)ason Harmon: jharmon@aurora.edu Phone: 630-844-5293 
Heather Gutierrez: hgutierr@aurora.edu Phone: 630-844-5448 



Advent Christian Witness - January/February 2006 




criptur^ 



Jeremiah 29:11 is a favorite of many Christians: 

"For I know the plans I have for you" 
declares the Lord, "plans to prosper 
you and not to harm you, plans to 
give you hope and a future." 



I've seen it printed in a Christian greeting card, 
penned into personal letters, and spoken with as- 
surance to mixed congregations and individuals, 
irrespective of their spiritual condition. It certainly 
is a wonderful promise. But is God really planning a 
bright future for everyone'^ Let's look at the context. 

Verse 1 1 was part of a letter which Jeremiah the prophet 
wrote to the Jewish exiles in Babylon. (The full letter 
is recorded in 29:4-23.) The people had been taken 
away from their homeland in the late sixth century BC 
because they'd done so much evil in God's sight. "It 
was because of the Lord's anger that all this happened 
to Jerusalem and Judah, and in the end he thrust them 
from his presence" (2 Kings 24:20). 

Despite their miserable past, God had a merciful 
plan for the future. They would be freed from captiv- 
ity and return to Jerusalem. But they wouldn't get 
back to their land until they turned back to their 
Lord. "You will seek me and find me when you seek 
me with all your heart. I will be found by you" de- 
clares the Lord, "and will bring you back from cap- 
tivity" (vs. 13- 14). There would be no bright future 
without repentance. Any Jeremiah 29:11 devotional 
message to a mixed crowd ought to include a warn- 
ing for unbelievers and backsliders to seek a relation- 
ship with God. 



Notice also that the Jewish exiles 
would not be freed immediately. "Jliis 
is what the Lord says: 'When seventy 
years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you 
and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to 
this place'" (vs. 10). Do any of the greeting cards that 
use vs. 11 explain that the original recipients had to 
wait so long to see the promise come true - and that 
many of that generation wouldn't even live to see 
it happen? We might be tempted to assure people 
whom we love that God will deliver them from the 
temporal consequences of their past sins after a few 
sincere tears; but, in fact, hard times may go on for 
years. 

Despite the popular sentiment that God has good 
plans for everyone, it is simply untrue. In chapter 28, 
Jeremiah predicted death for a false prophet named 
Hananiah (who said the Babylonian captivity would 
be over in two years). His future wasn't too bright. 
"In the seventh month of that same year, Hananiah 
the prophet died" {2^:17). If someone had sent that 
false prophet a Jeremiah 29:1 1 greeting card, it would 
have been a cruel joke. 

God's true prophet also warned that many in Jerusa- 
lem would suffer judgment: ".. this is what the Lord 
says about the king who sits on David's throne and all 
the people who remain in this city. ... 7 will send the 
sword, famine and plague against them. ... For they 
have not listened to my words'" (29:16-19). 

So we can see that the good news of Jeremiah 29:11 is 
surrounded by very bad news for false prophets, and 
for those who reject God's true message. We should 
never promise such people that God will prosper 
them and protect them from harm. If we do, we'll be 
twisting Scripture.lj' 



Castor Tom Warner serves on staff with Crossroads Christian Church, and as a chaplain with Ministry To Vie 
Aged, in Boise, Idaho. 



things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people 
twist to their own destruction" (z Peter 3:11^ NKJY). 




OIMIP!?®iMli 



Crack the Code. Each letter stands for another letter. 
Once you've found one it stays the same through the 
verse, but each verse has a different code. 
(Hint: "Nation" is in each verse.) 




/-fTr% 



Revelations 7:9 teo wqlhl mlrphl ul jtn t ahltw ucbwswcol . . . rhpu 

LILHK ETWSPE, WHSML, GLPGBL TEO BTEACTAL, NWTEOSEA 
MLRPHL WQL WQHPEL. 

Revelations 15:4 Qvv dqobcda ebvv lciz qdl ecmaybu szgcmz hck. 
Psalm 22:28 idg sdbaladl hpodltw rd rxp odgs mls xp gcopw depg 

RXP LMRADLW. 

Psalm 46:10 em xabcc, dul nufh arda b do ifl; b hbcc em mgdcaml 

DOFUI ARM UDABFUX, B HBCC EM MGDCAML BU ARM MDVAR. 



26 



Psalm 67:1-2 cho tny as tihlpnxd bn xd hfy ajsdd xd hey chgs rpd 

VHLS DRPFS XUNF XD, BRHB ONXI EHOD CHO AS GFNEF NF 
SHIBR, ONXI DHJWHBPNF HCNFT HJJ FHBPNFD. 

Advent Christian Witness - January/February 2006 




"...Except ye become Pu^ fff ffC' ChffC'f e>f), ye shall not 
enter into the kingdom of heaven." 



to MwM \MwiM 



Unscramble 
each Bible verse 

1. Mark 12:31 

your as Love yourself, neighbor 

2. Romans 13:10 

neighbor, no to Love does 
its harm 

3. Romans 15:2 

should his build good, of for 
up. his please neighbor to 
Each him us 



4. Ephesians 4:25 

truthfully must off each neigh- 
bor, are all falsehood put one 
of members speak Therefore of 
and to we for body, you his 






Connect the 




dots for some 




winter fun! 




40 




39. 


23. 
21.22. 
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Advent Christian Witness - January/February 2006 



27 




Women on Wall Street, soccer moms be- 
hind the wheel of the SUV — and hey! 
— all of us are searching for something 
to make us complete. 

Wisteria is the name of a lovely, twisting, climbing 
vine with beautiful cascading flowers. Although 
covered with beautiful blossoms possessing a 
sweet fragrance, this member of the pea family will 
destroy whatever it clings to, including brick walls, 
oak trees and gardens, unless regularly pruned 
with sharp tools. 



On Wisteria Lane there is manipulation, decep- 
tion, tomfoolery, theft, sex, social gaffes, alien- 
ation, false assumptions, adultery, addiction, jeal- 
ousy, blackmail, anger, teenage alienation, suicide, 
dark secrets and murder — all existing beneath the 
flowery masks of perfect people. 

On Wisteria Lane, no one is fulfilled, although 
every one strives for the elusive ideal of happiness. 
These women are trying to seize, discover, and 
even create contentment from their complicated 
lives. Generally, they fail. 



Wisteria Lane is a very appropriate address for five 
provocative, tantalizing, and bewitching women 
on the controversial television series. Desperate 
Housewives. Three of these women are mothers. 
This is TV's exaggerated depiction of suburban 
motherhood in the post-feminist age. 



^^--'i 



In Luke, chapter 15, Jesus speaks of another "des- 
perate housewife," a woman looking for something 
lost. He speaks of her as if she were "every woman" 
who has lost, sought and found a coin worth about 
a day's wage — like, say, a $100 bill. To her, noth- 
ing mattered at the moment except finding what 




ta.. 



x^:^ 



fi;^' 



i 

M was valuable to her. She was 
.■■(y!%mm^g0F desperate and diligent because 
r she needed it, and until she found 

|j|; she couldn't be peaceful. She worked willingly 
and diligently with what simple tools she had — a 
broom and a lamp. She swept the packed-earth 
floor hoping to hear a tinkling sound, or see a flash 
of silver sparkling in the lamplight. She clung to 
her work as she pursued her hope. 

Aren't we the same? We use the tools we have at 
hand as we seek what we've lost, as we seek to 
fill whatever empty hole gnaws at our hearts, as 
we seek happiness. It doesn't matter if we live in 
a hovel, a tenement, in the projects, in a double- 
wide, a suburban ranch, a mini-mansion or the 
manor house. Mothers who work outside the 
home, fathers who work only at home, singles, el- 
derly and many others find themselves desperately 
scrounging for what's missing and seeking what's 
lost. Unlike the woman in Jesus' parable, many are 
unable to name exactly what it is that's missing. 

But did the woman in Luke's gospel despair that 
she would never find the missing coin? She never 
says, "I'll not find it! It's lost! I'm lost! Oh, woe is 
me!" Instead, she lights the lamp and sweeps the 
floor until she finds it, probably just as her mother 
had taught. She keeps at it. She hope's, and eventu- 
ally finds her peace of mind. 

The women of Wisteria Lane, for all their frailties 
and flaws, keep hoping that they, too, will succeed 
and find that which eludes them. They are diligent, 
even driven. Sometimes their goodness buds and 
blossoms, too. By the diligent seeking, they begin 
to discover themselves, and slowly, they will find 
what they seek, or at least this is what is hoped. 

In fact, both the women of Wisteria Lane and the 
woman of Luke 15 know that there is a future in 
which what is lost will be found. They have, in 
their own way, a sense of hope. And hope is what 
encourages us, nurtures us, and empowers us to 
live faithfully every day. 



Wisteria is what a lot of people, including those 
desperate housewives on television, call "hope" 
these days. It's not. Such behavior is hope on crack. 
There's going to be a meltdown. 

Sometimes we, too, feel ourselves getting des- 
perate about our family lives or lot. We become 
disoriented, unable to find fulfillment or what we 
need, maybe not even knowing what we need or 
what it is we want. Like the woman with her lamp 
and broom, it's diligence and hope that matters. If 
you are spiritually diligent, soulfully hopeful and 
seeking, here are questions you might ask yourself: 

What do I really need? For what do I 
hope? For what am I truly desperate? 
What will give me fulfillment? What 
will fill the emptiness and the hole in 
my life? Where is happiness found? 

The Biblical woman sought her missing piece of 
silver. The women of Wisteria Lane seek their 
missing peace of mind — and so do we. 

For us, it's Jesus Christ who is the be- 
ginning, middle, and end of our faith. 
It is because Jesus lived, died and lives 
again that we can function in the pres- 
ent — confident that the future be- 
longs to God. 

Such knowledge and faith keeps us from despera- 
tion. From wisteria. From hysteria... 

But not from hope! '^ 



Carole Lewis is retired after 30 years in the publishing busi- 
ness. She and her husband, Wes, and son, Clinton, have lived 
in Villisca, Iowa all their lives. She is a member of the Villisca 
Advent Christian Church where she serves as secretary to the 
church board and the pastor. She also serves as President of 
the Missouri Valley AC Conference and serves as the Regional 
WHFMS treasurer In her "spare" time, she enjoys cooking, 
reading and working on her computer. 



Advent Christian Witness - January/February 2006 



29 



REFLECTIO 





By Pam Buchanan 



Recently I was privileged to witness 
a very happy homecoming. The 
setting was an airport terminal, and, 
even though that is not my favorite place to 
be, this particular evening I was counting it a 
blessing. As I watched people disembark the plane 
that I was to soon board, I was very startled to hear 
shrill screaming (usually NOT what you care to hear 
in an airport these days). 



As my attention turned toward the commotion, I saw a hand- 
some service man had appeared in the doorway. My focus 
turned to the awaiting family to see various reactions. Some 
were running into his arms, others were visibly emotional 
and still others seemed to be in "shock and awe!" I know it's 
not polite to stare, but I couldn't help enjoying their moment 
— and I wasn't alone. There was a terminal full of smiles and 
tears as we collectively applauded this reunion from a dis- 
tance. 

My thoughts immediately turned to a prayer of gratitude 
for his safe arrival and his sacrificial service to our country. 
I couldn't help but think of the many others who remain in 

Advent Christian Witness - January/February 2006 



OlTO^A^^Sl 




harm's way, and I started naming names in prayer that their fam- 
ilies, too, would experience just such a squeal of delight in some 
airport soon. And my heart was also aware of the many families 
who have lost a dear, precious family member through the years 
of conflicts that our nation has seen, praying that they would feel 
God' comfort and that their memories would become treasures. 

But more than all of this, my thoughts descended upon another 
future homecoming for all Christians. One day, the trumpet wi 
blow and the sky will open up before our very eyes to reveal our 
Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, returning to reunite with his fam- 
ily. 1 imagine some of the same reactions to his coming will be 
those I observed in the airport ... some will run into his arms, we 
will probably hear some squeals and screams, and I am sure that 
tears will flow. No doubt this grand event will be shocking and 
awesome for all of us. What a blessed event this will be for those 
who call him, "Father". ... 



Maybe Todavh 




"Maybe Today" mugs 
are $5.00 plus shipping 
and handling. For de- 
tails or to order, call 
Venture Bookstore at 
1-800-676-0694, ext. 251. 



Advent Christian Witness - January/February 2006 





Periodicals Postage Paid #007-740 

1 -3-2 

00004343 12/2006 

UNC Chapel Hill Library 

Serials Dept 

CB# 3938 Davis Library 

Chapel Hill NC 27514 



l..l.li...l.l,l.,..ll.l„l.,.l 



l;| 



Advent Christian 



Majeh/April 2lQi 






FORGIVENESS 



Witness 



Volume 54, Issue 2 

www.adventchristian.org 

1-800-676-0694 



International Missionaries 



Managing Editor 
Keith Wheaton 



Editor 
John Roller 

Assistant 
Jan Thomas 

Contributing Editor 
Tom Warner 

Proofreader 
Kathy Wheaton 

Women 's Ministry Editor 
Pam Buchanan 



Advent Christian 
General Conference 

Ron Thomas Executive Director 

ExecDirect@,acgc. us 
Nancy Brool^s Administrative Assistant 

nbrooks@acgc. us 

COMMUNICATIONS 

Keith Wheaton Communications Director 

kwheaton(wacgc. us 
Helen Hagler Production & Distribution 

hhagler(a),acgc. us 
Donna Martin Sales & Distribution 

dmartin@acgc. us 
Tina Pressley Bookstore Sales Manager 

tpressley@acgc. us 
John Roller Publications Coordinator 

jroller(aj,acgc. us 
Dawn Russell Bookstore Sales Assoc. 

drussel!(a}acgc. us 
Jan Thomas Administrative Assistant 

jthomas@acgc. us 



Sam Warren 
Pam Buchanan 



NURTURE 

Nurture Director 

swarren@,acgc. us 

Women's Ministries 
Coordinator 
phuchaiiaiiCw,acgc. us 
Mary Ritchie Administrative Assistant 

mrilchie(w,acgc. us 

OPERATIONS 

Richard Russell Operations Director 

rrussell(a),acgc. us 

Finance Assistant 
sefird(a)acgc.us 

Finance Assistant 
aJolv7son@acgc. us 

Controller 
dru/an@acgc.us 

OUTREACH 

Tim Fox Outreach Director 

ifo.xCcilacgc. us 
Julia Brock Administrative Assistant 

jbrucii(a),acgc.us 



Shirley Efird 
Amy Johnson 
Dawn Rutan 



Area Directors: 

Scott Dombrosky — Latin 

America/Short-Term Missions 

sdomhrosk\'@comcast. net 

John Gilbert — Team Leader 

john@99phisl .org 

Russell Carle — Europe/Africa 

rkcarlciainifx.net 

Clio Thomas — Asia/Pacific 

clio\vestva@msn. com 

On Furlough 

Jeff and Penny Vann 

(7/14 & 5/12; Connie, 3/29; 
Naomi, 10/11) 
134 Essex St. Apt. 202 
S. Hamilton, Mass. 01982 
Jeffvann@ acgc.us 
pennyvann(cv.acgc. us 



Philippines 

Grant Aldridge (7/27) 

P.O. Box 223 

9000 Cagayan de Oro 

Philippines 

aldridge(a.home.philcom.ph 

Kimon and Chin Nicolaides 

PO. Box 223 

9000 Cagayan de Oro 

Philippines 

kimon. mcolaides@us. army, mil 

Jeff and Rhonda Walsh 

P.O. Box 223 
9000 Cagayan de Oro 
Philippines 
rjbiwalsh2@iuno. com 



India 

Earl and Martha Wright 

PO. Box 3164 

Guindy Chennai 600 032 

wright(wmd3. vsnl. net. in 

Ernie Schache (1/29) 

R O. Box 3 1 64 Guindy, 
Chennai 600032 
emieschache(a vsnl.net 



National Missionaries 

Liberia 

Abraham David, AC Church, PO. Box 4669, Monrovia, LIBERIA 
Malaysia 

Victor Devadason, No. 24 Jalan Pandan 12, Taman Dato Honnat 42500, 
Teluk Panglima Garang, K. Langat, Selangor, MALAYSIA 

James Devadasson, 20 Jalan Intan 4, Taman Intan, 86000 Kluang, Johor, MALAYSIA 

Ruth Devairakkam, 36 Jalan 14/2, Taman Sri Kluang, 86000 Kluang, Johor, MALAYSIA 
Kenya 

Simeon Rianga, AC Church, P.O. Box 68. Nyamarambe-Kisii, KENYA 
Memphis 

Francis Ssebikindu, 2175 Carrollwood, Cordova, TN 38016-4608 
Mexico 

John Gilbert, P.O. Box 9019 SF168, Calexico, CA 92332-9019 

Martin Camacho Valdez, c/o John Gilbert (above) 

Samuel Avalos - Madrigal, c/o John Gilbert (above) 

Miguel Mena Arrellano, c/o John Gilbert (above) 
Croatia 

Desire Ahola, PO. Box 29, Nova Gradiska, 35400 CROATIA 
India 

Jeeva Kiruban, Box 3164, Guindy, Chennai 600 032, INDIA 
Ghana 

Simon Bissah, AC Church, PO. Box 604, Nsawam, Eastern Region, GHANA 
New Zealand 

David Burge, 12 Bettina Place, Manurewa, Auckland, NEW ZEALAND 
South Africa 

Nathan Fernando Kilima, 14 Dick Mullcr Drive, Norkem Park 1620, S. AFRICA 2028 
Ni geria 

Christian Paul, Ukot Udoabia PA., Etinan, L.G.A., Akwa Ibom State. NIGERIA 
Malawi/Mozambique 

Paul Sosono, Box 190, Nsanje, Malawi 
Myanmar 

Timothy Kham Mang, HIainta Ya Township, PO. Box 619, Yangon. Myanmar 
China 

Please send correspondence through the missions office: c/o Dept. of World Outreach 

■iihunl CIn-istiun Wilncss (ISSN #0741-4302) is published bimonthly by the Advent Christian General Conference of 
America, 14601 Albemarle Rd.. P.O. Box 23 1 52, Charlotte. NC 28227. Subscription rates in the United States and Canada: 
One year $15.00. Single copy $2.75. Overseas rate, one year $18.00. Periodicals postage paid at Charlotte, NC, and ad- 
ditional iTiailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Advent Christian Witness, P.O. Box 23152, Charlotte, 
NC 28227. Printed in Canada. 

As the official publication of the Advent Christian General Conference, the Advent Christian Witness publishes the 
teachings of the Advent Christian Church and promotes the task of disciple-making both in North America and around the 
world. The views expressed in this magazine are those of the author and tnay not necessarily reflect those of the editor or 
the Advent Christian General Conference. Meinber: Evangelical Press Association. Copyright © 2006. 

Advent Christian Witness - March/ April 2006 



From the Editor 



Contents 



AZ4 




The theme of this issue of the Witness is "forgive- 
ness." What could be more appropriate, a few 
weeks before Easter, as we prepare to commemo- 
rate Christ's suffering, death, burial, and glorious 
resurrection? At the beginning of his awful agony 
Jesus prayed for those who'd pounded the nails 
into his hands, "Father, forgive them, for they do not 
know what they are doing" (Luke 23:34). 

This verse intrigues me. What amazing generosity! 
I find it difficult to forgive someone who has done 
me even the slightest little wrong — like getting 
ahead of me in the "fast lane" at the grocery store 
when they have 21, not "20 or fewer," packages to 
pay for. Jesus was willing to forgive those who cru- 
cified him. What a high standard he sets for us! 

Maybe I find it difficult to understand the verse 
because of my tendency to be overly analytical. 
Jesus is asking God to forgive people who haven't 
repented. That goes against my "theological grain." 
Scripture after scripture seems to teach that repen- 
tance must come first, and, only then, forgiveness. 
Luke 17:3-4, for example: "If your brother sins, 
rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he 

(Editorial continued on page 7) 

Advent Christian Witness - March/April 2006 



Editorial 

Dr. John Roller 

What Is Forgiveness? 

Anonymous 

Forgiveness Collides With the 
Past 

Rev. Rex Hutto 

Forgiving the Unrepentant 

R. T. Kendall 

The View From the Log House 

Josh Tate 

Overcoming The Crisis-Driven 
Church 

Dr. William H. Chadwick 

Speaking God's Forgiveness 

Dr. Edward Fudge 

Monkey Business 

Rev. Rex Hutto 

As Children 

Dawn Russell 

The Lifeline Of Forgiveness 

Becky Nicoll 



8 
12 
15 
16 

22 
23 
24 
26 




Advent Christian Witness - March/ April 2006 



What Is Forgiveness? 



Anonymous 



I sat in my front yard and played alone 
with my toys. The house across the street 
was quiet - not lil<e the day before. That day, 
the yard had been full of guests and somehow I 
had ended up there, where the teenage son of the 
family strolled around the yard with me, holding 
my hand. I felt special then, a little eight-year-old 
being welcomed into a grown-up party. Then the 
boy invited me into his home. He took me into his 
room and molested me. 

I would never go to that house again! It was yucky! 
I pushed the memory away and never thought of 
it again — not until I got married. For years after 
my marriage, I struggled with sexual adjustment 
issues. Could that childhood event have been the 
cause of my problems? Eventually a counselor 
confirmed that it had deeply affected me. Now 
I was angry! If only I could confront the person 
whose action had harmed me psychologically all 
these years. I would tell him how his one selfish act 
had caused me so many years of struggle and pain 
in my marriage. It was not possible, though; it had 
been decades since I had lived in that neighbor- 
hood and I did not know who this person was. 

Then I read that emotional healing could only 
come as I forgave the perpetrator. I endeavored 
to do that. I prayed about it. Yet I still longed to 
confront him with his sin. Had I failed to forgive 
him? My emotions had not changed. I asked God if 
I had more work to do on this forgiveness issue. 

The turning point came soon afterward, when we 
were visiting my mother. She and my husband 

Advent Christian Witness - March/April 2006 



loved to engage in long theological discussions. 
These discussions were usually too intense for 
me, and Id listen with half an ear. Today, though, 
they were discussing the subject of forgiveness. I 
listened closely. I was surprised when my husband 
stated: 

"Forgiveness requires repentance on the part 
of the offender. Just as God does not grant 
forgiveness until there is repentance, we also 
cannot extend forgiveness if there is no repen- 
tance, for forgiveness involves reconciliation. 
When this does not happen, all that remains 
is justice. We can trust God, though, to bring 
about the justice that is needed. The Bible tells 
us: 'Vengeance is mine, says the Lord; I will 
repay!" 

I left the room to take my shower, thinking about 
the words I had just heard. It was as if God had 
spoken his answer to me. As the water streamed 
over me, I felt a release concerning this person 
who had harmed me. He was in God's hands. God 
would deal with him as he saw best. Maybe he 
would reach this man with his mercy. If not, he 
would take care of the consequences. Either way, it 
was OK with me. He was in God's hands. 

All of us have struggled with the issue of forgive- 
ness. In most cases, we do know the person who 
hurt us, and we can seek to offer forgiveness. Our 
first step may need to be a loving confrontation. 
This can be very difficult; not all of us are confron- 
tational people. I know that I am not. I usually wait 
to see if the person has a change of heart. If that 



happens, I let it go. If the person does not have a 
change of heart, it is my responsibihty to approach 
that person after praying for God's help. 

My husband and I lost a ministry once because I 
confided in a close personal friend that we no lon- 
ger believed in an important doctrine of a church 
where we were pastoring. I shared that we were 
waiting for God to show us what to do, and we 
were seeking other avenues of ministry. We hoped 
to find a ministry that was not pastoring. Then we 
could explain that God had opened up this door 
for us. We did not want to hurt this church. 

After my friend and I spoke about it several times, 
she became troubled. She felt that we were wrong 
to wait to share our change of belief with the 
church. Without telling me this, she went to our 
elders. It was a very painful ending to that min- 
istry. As I grieved for our loss, I prayed about my 
feelings toward my friend. I accepted that it would 
take a while to work through all my emotions and 
that no matter what I was feeling, God loved me. 
After a number of weeks went by, I sent her a letter 
telling her that I had been hurt because she had 
not believed the best in me. We were reconciled. 
She later expressed thankfulness for my forgive- 
ness. 



When I look back on times that 
people have hurt me, I have 
come to these conclusions about 
forgiveness: 



1. Forgiveness involves rec- 
onciliation. When recon- 
ciliation is possible, seek 
it. If necessary, confront 
the person in love. (See 
Matthew 18:15-17 and 
Leviticus 19:17.) 

2. When confrontation and 
reconciliation are impos- 
sible, leave it in God's 
hands. He is both just and 
merciful. We can trust 
him to deal with the per- 
son in his own way. It is a 
loving choice to release a 



person into God's hands, trusting him to do 
what's best in that person's life. If the per- 
son never receives God's mercy, they will 
experience his justice. (See 2 Thessalonians 
1:6-7.) 

The decision to forgive does not automati- 
cally erase unpleasant emotions. While 
struggling to forgive, accept the fact that 
emotions do not change overnight. Know 
that God loves us anyway. Remember that 
we are important to God. What concerns 
us concerns him. He cares about our strug- 
gles. (Psalm 103:13-14.) 
Forgiveness is a decision to not seek retali- 
ation or wish the person harm. Proverbs 
24:17 says, "Do not gloat when your enemy 
falls; when he stumbles, do not let your 
heart rejoice" Proverbs 20:22 says, "Do not 
say, I'll pay you back for this wrong! Wait for 
the Lord and he will deliver you'.' (See also 1 
Peter 3:9) 

As hard as it may be, pray for the person 
who has hurt you. Ask God to show you 
what to pray for in that person's life. Also, 
as hard as it may be, choose to do good if 
God gives the opportunity. (See Proverbs 
25:21 and Matthew 5:44.)* 




Advent Christian Witness - March/April 2006 



(Editorial continued) 

sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you 
and says, 7 repent', forgive him" That seems more reasonable. The word 
"if" — which occurs three times in this passage — puts a strict condi- 
tion before we must extend forgiveness. There's no command to forgive 
someone who hasn't repented — and those who crucified Jesus hadn't 
done that. Yet Jesus prayed, "Father, forgive them. ..." 

Here's another thing I find difficult: Jesus gives this reason for his request 
— "...for they do not know what they are doing" What kind of "reason" is 
that? Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Not only is that a well-known ad- 
age, it's a biblical principle. Consider the sacrifices required in Leviticus 4 
for anyone in Israel who sins "through ignorance" (vv. 2, 13, 22, 27)! And 
did the soldiers really not know what they were doing? They seemed 
to know they were putting an innocent man to death; their captain 
even said so (cf. Luke 23:47). How could Jesus say, ".. they do 
not know what they are doing"? 

It would be all too easy for me to evade this scripture by 
repeating what's in a footnote in most modern translations: 
"This portion of v.34 does not occur in the oldest papyrus 
manuscript of Luke and in other early Greek manuscripts 
and ancient versions of wide geographical distribution." There! The verse 
doesn't even belong in the Bible at all! But for me to say that would be 
hypocrisy. For years I've disagreed with the majority of modern scholars 
who base their understanding of the New Testament text on a handful of 
"oldest manuscripts" that are missing some 5% of all the words found in 
the vast majority of the 5,000 handwritten Bibles in the world's museums. 
I've argued that verses like Luke 23:34 should be in the Bible, so 1 can 
hardly back off that position just because 1 have difficulty understanding 
one of those verses. 



I'm left with an unsolved mystery: Jesus really prayed this prayer; and 1 
suppose the Holy Spirit meant for me to spend time meditating on it. 
What can God possibly be saying to me? Maybe forgiveness goes much 
further than my ability to understand \t.^ 



Answering the knock at the door, a pastor finds himself 
facing the man who permanently scarred his wife and 
child, and ... y^i #. 




,^^. 



T, 
] 



'om and Joanne rode in contented silence 
'"^Is^riiey returned to the parsonage from 
a pastoral call. Joanne had earned her ... 
"MRS. 4egree" by working Tom through serni- 
nary, and now they were enjoying the ups and 
downs of a young couple in ministry. Serving 
God by serving people fit them well, and they 
could imagine no life other than the one they 
were living. She placed her hand on her growing 
belly and sighed contentedly. They were both ex- 
cited about the pending birth of their first child. 
Could life possibly get any better than this? 



'Tom!' 



m 



Joanne had time for nothing more than a4§tac- 
cato scream before headlights crossed the me- 
dian and the quiet of the night explod^ into 
a pandemonium of squealing tires, crumpling 
metal and breaking glass. The horrible cacopho- 
ny was quickly replaced by much softer sounds: 
^^^errant hubcap seeking a resting place on the 
pavement. The hiss of radiator steam. The quiet 
moans of Tom and the other driver. But Joanne 
made no sound. 

"Jo ... " Mumbling through bleeding lips, Tom 
willed himself to some semblance of conscious- 
ness and turned in the twisted wreckage so see 



the still, mangled form of his wife. "Jo ... " he said 
a second time. It was a haunting, pathetic sound, 
like a wounded animal. The name he so loved 
exploded in his soul as it slipped from his lips. 
He lost consciousness. 

Distant muffled voices. Pain. Can't... move. 
Where ... am ... ? What... hap ... .^Tom tried once 
again to will himself to consciousness and clar- 
ity of mind, but was less successful. It felt as if 
he had been drugged. Hosp ... ? Jo ... Where ... Jo? 
Is ... she ... .^ Was he actually saying the words or 
just thinking them? He didn't know. 

The crash came back to him with awful clarity. 
Then the image of Joanne, cri^te>led in a bloody 
heap, covered with broken glalt. He tried to 
reach out to her, but she wasn't there, and he 
could only Rarely move his hands as his arms still 
lay at his side, 

Slowly the anesthetic began to wear off and Tom 
could force his eyes open, quickly retreating back 
from the harsh hospital lights to the comfort of 
darkness. As he blinked once, twice, three times, 
the figures in the room began to come into focus. 



'Not their real names. 



He instinctively knew that he had a confused look 
on his face and was embarrassed to be seen that 
way by those standing around his bed. He chided 
himself for such a foolish thought. That was the 
least of his worries. 

He was thirsty ... terribly, terribly thirsty. But 
greater than his need for water was his need to 
know about ... Or did he really want to know? 

"Jo ...?" Forcing that single syllable from his mouth 
reminded him of trying to bench press 250 pounds 
in competition with his macho high school football 
buddies. 



questioned him." Against his will, Tom lapsed once 

again into unconsciousness. 

************** 

The details of this story have been fictionalized, 
but Tom and Joanne are very real. Painfully real. 
They have known more pain in their lives than any 
other couple my wife and I have known. 

Many years ago, when their accident occurred, 
drunk-driving laws weren't as strong as they are 
now. The other driver suffered no legal conse- 
quences as a result of his choice. Tom and Joanne 
were not so fortunate. 



Rage suddenly filled him as he realized that "the least of these 
brothers of mine" was the drunk who had ruined his and 
Joanne's lives ... 



10 



"She's alive," a voice said softly. An image came into 
focus — a doctor in a white lab coat that was spot- 
ted with blood. "But she's in very critical condition. 
She was hurt badly, and we don't know if she is 
going to make it, I'm sorry." 

Tears filled Tom's eyes as he remembered ... they 
weren't just a couple anymore. They were going to 
be a family. "Ba ... ba-by?" 

"Miraculously," the doctor said, "the baby is alive, 
too. We'd like to do a Caesarean section, but your 
wife is too weak, and the baby isn't far enough 
along. It would probably kill both of them. The 
survival of your baby depends on the survival of 
your wife." 

"Want ... see ..." 

"I'm afraid that's not a good idea right now," the 
doctor said wearily. "We're still working on her, 
and you need rest yourself. I assure you, we're do- 
ing everything we can, and we'll keep you apprised 
of her condition." 

"Other ... driver?" 

Anger flashed in the doctor's eyes as he said 
grimly, "He was drunk. We treated him for mi- 
nor wounds, and he was released after the police 



Tom recovered relatively quickly. Joanne survived 
and slowly recovered, but was horribly disfigured. 
Many rounds of painful cosmetic surgery later she 
was, at best, a very plain looking woman. They 
destroyed all their photographs of her before the 
accident, the reminders of her previous beauty 
being too painful to bear. Whenever they looked at 
one, rather than seeing a lovely young woman, they 
saw a drunk driver who stole from them something 
they could never regain. 

Their baby survived as well. Joanne carried her to 
term, but they learned soon after the delivery that 
their daughter was severely retarded as a result of 
the accident. Tom and Joanne were determined to 
care for her at home, but after a few years found 
themselves unable to do so and made the painful 
decision to place her in an institution where they 
continue to visit her regularly. 

One evening many years later, as Tom and Joanne 
were relaxing after dinner, the parsonage doorbell 
rang. It was not unusual for underprivileged peo- 
ple, knowing it was a church parsonage, to come to 
their door seeking food or other help. Compelled 
by Jesus' words, "Whatever you did for one of the 
least of these brothers of mine, you did for me," 
they were glad to do whatever they could to help. 

"I'm awful sorry to bother you. Reverend," the 

Advent Christian Witness - March/ April 2006 



disheveled man said, "but I'm in a bad way. Haven't 
eaten for two days and don't have no money to get 
no food. Been sleepin' at the rescue mission, but 
had to leave 'cause you can only stay there five days 
at a stretch. I know I oughta be payin' my own way 
and all, but you see ... I have a little drinking prob- 
lem and ..." He looked down in shame. "Do you 
think you might be able to help me out a bit?" 

Instinctively, habitually, Tom started to spring into 
do-what-I-can mode, but he paused. This poor 
fellow looked familiar. Tom knew him from some- 
where ... 



"Just as ..." 

Yeah, "just as"! I've never hurt anyone like this piece 
of excrement has. 

"You have heard that it was said to the people long 
ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will 
be subject to judgment.' But I tell you that anyone 
who is angry with his brother will be subject to 
judgment." 

Oh, come on! You can't possibly mean that my being 
angry at this guy ... OK, hating him ... is as had as 



God, I cant do it. I ... just ... can't ... do ... it. If you want me 
to forgive him, you'll have to give me the strength. 



Rage suddenly filled him as he realized that "the 
least of these brothers of mine" was the drunk 
who had ruined his and Joanne's lives, stolen her 
beauty, and destroyed any hope of their daughter 
ever living a normal life. "A little drinking problem" 
indeed! 

Words Tom had not used for many years filled 
his mind as he stood face-to-face with the most 
disgusting specimen of humanity he could imag- 
ine. He didn't deserve to be "helped out." Didn't 
deserve to live. He deserved to suffer as he had 
caused them to suffer, and then die as he had 
caused their dreams to die. Plans began to form in 
Tom's mind to make that fantasy a reality. No one 
would probably ever miss this slimy little ... / could 
probably get away with it, and no one would be 
any the wiser. Just invite him in, and he'll never be 
heard from again. 

"Father, forgive them. ..." Tom's frantic thoughts 
stopped dead in their tracks as words nearly 2000 
years old entered his mind uninvited. 

That's all well and good, Tom mused, but I'm not 
the Father. And I'm not about to forgive this ... 

"Forgiving one another, just as in Christ God has 
forgiven you." 

That's not fair! You can't possibly expect me to ... No 
way! 

Advent Christian Witness - March/April 2006 



what he did to us? 

"There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall 
short of the glory of God." 

God, I can't do it. I ... just ... can't ... do ... it. If you 
want me to forgive him, you'll have to give me the 
strength. ... 

Many thoughts can run through a man's mind in 
a brief moment of time. The hungry man on the 
parsonage doorstep perceived only a moment's 
hesitation as Tom looked at him quizzically. 

"Let me get my coat," the pastor said. "I'll take you 
out for a nice dinner. Hey, your coat looks kind of 
thin. I think I might have a heavier one that will fit 
you," 

"Thanks, mister," the man said. "A guy doesn't meet 
someone like you every day." 

"Actually, there's someone else I'd like you to meet." 

Forgiveness is a wonderful sermon topic. Some- 
times God requires his spokesmen to practice 
what they preach. ■!? 



Rev. Rex Hutto is pastor of the Bear Point AC Church 
in Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia. 



11 



g^o^gi vi9tg <mE 

UNREPENTANT 




By R. T. Kendall 



an I forgive those who have betrayed me if 
they are not repentant? 

If we wait for those who have hurt us to repent first, we will 
almost certainly wait for a long, long time. We also give our- 
selves a justification to stay bitter the rest of our lives. 

.^ This cannot be right. Even non-Christian organi- 

zations are emerging to show the value of 
forgiveness; their premise is that the 
greatest benefit of forgiveness accrues 
not to the one who is forgiven, but to 
the one who forgives. 

One of Jesus' main teachings was 
that we love our enemies, pray for 
them, and do good to those who 
have hurt us. It is curious how some 
of us read the Gospels over and 
again and miss this. We may get the 
theology, but not the graciousness 
that Jesus taught and exemplified. 

How much repentance do you sup- 
pose there was at the Cross while Je- 
sus hung there? There was not only an 
utter absence of repentance, but also 
total contempt. Jesus' reply: "Father, 
forgive them, because they do not know 
what they are doing" (Luke 23:34). 

Had Jesus adopted the position that he 
should wait until they repent, he would 
have shown himself to be as lost as those 

for whom he was dying. Furthermore, he 

Advent Christian Witness - March/April 2006 




did not shout at them, "I forgive you." He prayed, 
Father you forgive them. 

Chances are high that those who hurt us don't 
even think they have done anything wrong. Nine 
out of 10 people 
I have to forgive 
don't think they 
have done any- 
thing wrong to me 
(which suggests 
that I, too, have 
probably hurt 
people without 
knowing). 

When I was 
minister of West- 
minster Chapel 
in London, the 
people who had 
betrayed me 
didn't think they 
had done one 

thing wrong. You could have hooked them up to 
a lie detector, and they would have passed with 
flying colors. My old friend, Josif Tson, whom the 
Communist government of Romania imprisoned 
and beat for his faith, came to me with the sober- 
ing words: "R.T., you must totally forgive them; un- 
less you totally forgive them, you will be in chains." 

I never went to them and told them I forgave them 
(this would have insulted them). It happened in my 
heart. Once you forgive in your heart, it ceases to 
be an issue whether they repent or not. The bless- 
ing I got personally from this has been incalcu- 
lable. 

When Jesus asked his disciples to love each other 
as he loved them (John 13:34), he knew Peter 
would deny him, then added to all of them: "Do 
not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust 
also in me" (John 14:1). Many of us forget that he 
was still talking to the ones he knew would desert 
him in a few hours. 

When he showed up after his resurrection behind 
their closed doors, he did not say to them, "How 
could you do this to me?" He merely said, "Peace 
be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am send- 



ing you" (John 20:21). He affirmed them as if noth- 
ing had happened; he let them save face. 

I have answered the question "Must 1 forgive 
them?" Let me now answer the question "How am 

I able to for- 
give them?" The 
answer: because 
God has forgiven 
you. Are you per- 
fect? If you say, 
"I haven't done 
what they did," 
I answer yes, I 
believe you, but 
you have done 
other things that 
in God's sight are 
likely to be just 
as grievous. 

Not only that; 
you have the 
Holy Spirit. The 
fruit of the Spirit is love (Gal. 5:22). You, therefore, 
can do it. In my case, I thought I couldn't. But I 
did. And it was the best thing I ever did. But it 
wasn't easy. 

The signs to know you have totally forgiven can be 
summarized this way: (1) You do not tell anybody 
what they did to you (this would be trying to pun- 
ish the one who hurt you); (2) you do not try to 
intimidate them; (3) you do not let them feel guilty; 
(4) you let them save face; (5) you accept the mat- 
ter of total forgiveness as a "life sentence" — you 
have to keep doing it, indefinitely; (6) you pray that 
they will be blessed and let off the hook. 

When you do these things, you have fulfilled what 
Jesus had in mind for you. You will never be sorry. 
The blessing of the Holy Spirit on you will com- 
pound and multiply to exceed your greatest expec- 
tation. Finally, the greater (or deeper) the hurt, the 
greater the blessing that will be yours. ^ 

R.T. Kendall, formerly minister of Westminster Chapel, 
London, now retired, is author of "Total Forgiveness" 
(Charisma House, 2002). 

Article from March 2005 issue of "Christianity Today. " 



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I woke up this morning to find that it had 
snowed during the night. It was the kind of 
snow that forms pillow-Uke mounds on the 
tops of parked cars and traces every branch and 
twig in white. From my bedroom window I looked 
at the railing, which runs around the center grass, 
and visually estimated that about six or seven 
inches of snow had fallen while I was asleep. 

My wife and children were still sleeping, so I qui- 
etly pulled on my clothes and laced up my boots in 
the dark. I get a thrill out of being the first person 
to walk through a virgin blanket of snow. I get the 
same feeling when I dip a knife into the uniform 
surface of a new jar of peanut butter, or when I lob 
a rock into the still surface of a placid pond. 



14 



I slipped downstairs, avoiding the third stair — the 
one that creaks — and stepped out into the hush of 
early dawn. I enjoyed the "scrunch-scrunch" of my 
boots as I walked through the snow and admired 
the way snow softens and rounds every surface. 
Every tree was drooping and heavy-laden with the 
stuff. The two little trees by the shuffleboard court 
were doubled over under the weight of the snow so 
that they looked more horizontal than vertical. 

After meandering my way through the camp 
I came to the stream, which was gurgling 
and splashing its way down the mountain. I 
thought about how the stream would change 
in a couple of days when the snow melts. Then 
it would be a roaring and rushing thing, but 

Advent Christian Witness - March/April 2006 



this morning it was calmly picking its way be- 
tween the rocks. 

I walked along the stream for awhile taking 
note of the different animal tracks, which criss- 
crossed my own. Deer, coyotes, and rabbits had 
all passed that way before me. I decided to fol- 
low a set of deer tracks, which turned to the left 
and set off up the hillside. I had wanted to see 
the view from the ridge above, and I had read 
that wild animals usually follow the path of least 
resistance. I hoped that was correct as I looked 
up at the steep rugged hillside. After squirming 
my way through manzanita bushes and clambering 
over several fallen trees, I decided that the deer did 
not have my best interests at heart. At one point 
a squirrel, scurrying along a branch, caused 
a shower of heavy wet snow to rain 
down on my head. I was beginning 
to think that the forest creatures 
were having a little fun at my 
expense, so I decided to quit 
the deer's trail and strike out 
on my own. 

I walked for about another ten 
minutes through the snowy 
woods before I emerged at a 
spot where the trees cleared, and 
there was a truly incredible view of the 
mountains. The slope, which I had just climbed, 
dropped away below me and rose again on the 
other side of the stream. In the distance rose the 
peaks of Mt. Tahquitz and Mt. San Jacinto. In the 
light of early morning the mountains were covered 
in a sparkling blanket of white. 

I was reminded of Isaiah 44:22-23, 
which reads, "I have swept away 
your offenses like a cloud, 

your sins like the morning * • 

mist. Return to me, for I 
have redeemed you. Sing 
for joy, O heavens, for 
the Lord has done this; 
shout aloud, O earth 
beneath. Burst into 
song, you mountains, 
you forests and all 

Advent Christian Witness - March/ April 2006 



0m 



your 
trees, for 
the Lord has 
redeemed 
Jacob. He 
displays 
his 
glory 
in 
Israel" 



It 
seemed 
to me that the 
Lord's glory was on full display this morning 
in these mountains. What a wonderful 
and gracious God we serve! As I 
walked back home, retracing my 
steps down the slope and along 
the stream, I joined with 
the mountains, and forest 
in singing his praises. "This 
is my Father's world; And to 
my listening ears. All nature 
sings, and round me rings The 
music of the spheres" Lord, I am so 
grateful for the beauty of your cre- 
ation, and thankful beyond words to be 
numbered among the redeemed. 'fr 



Josh Tate is the Assistant Diretor of Camp Maranatha 
in the San Jacinto Mountains of Southern California. 

He graduated from Houghton 
College with a major in 
Business Administra- 
tion. Prior to going 
into full-time 
ministry at the 
camp, Josh was 
a police officer 
for the city of 
St. Albans in 
Vermont. He 
and his wife, 
Sarah, have a 
two children. 



.^^MMM:; 



15 



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% 'Dr. 1 



"Leadership in trouble" 



— "Our church has been without a 
pastor for a year and a half and the 
superintendent says that there are no 
new candidates." 

— "Our last pastor was a good 
preacher, but he lacked so many other 
skills it just caught up with him. We 
had to have a vote of confidence, and 
he lost." 

— "Burned out, Td call it a nervous 
break down. The guy just came un- 
glued. 1 guess he was just not cut out 
for being a pastor." 



Churches today are facing a serious problem. 
There is a leadership shortage on the hori- 
zon for every denomination in the United 
States. The Catholic Church felt it first. Unable to 
supply priests for their churches, they have been 
forced to close hundreds of parishes. The Protes- 
tant church is just starting to sense the first wave 
of the shortage. 

In Christianity Today, Ken Walker's article en- 
titled Empty Pulpit Crisis cited research from the 
Lutheran Church: "recent studies project that by 
2020, 30 to 40 percent of our congregations will 
have no pastoral leadership." The United Church 
of Christ expressed the same concern predicting 
a "looming clergy shortage." The United Method- 



16 



Advent Christian Witness - March/April 2006 



[ 



VCiLJJlliiili^ I 

rhiirc 





Cfiam 'rf Chadwick 





ists report that "seminary candidates have dropped 
an alarming 21 percent in the last decade." Across 
denominational lines fewer individuals are willing 
to serve in what Leadership magazine calls "the 
highest burnout profession in the world" — pasto- 
ral ministry. 

Burnout and the Crisis-Driven 
church 

Crisis-Driven churches are exacting an alarming 
toll on pastors. In these settings a difficult profes- 
sion is made harder due to the subjective nature 
of an organization that has lost its God-ordained 
purpose and struggles to survive any way it can. In 



the Crisis-Driven church the clergy receives per- 
formance pressure from two sides. 

First they are God's leaders commissioned to 
bring success, while at the same time they are 
employees quickly blamed for any failure in the 
church. "There is a strange need for people to 
idolize the pastor," says Dr. Archibald Hart, dean 
of the Graduate School of Psychology at Fuller 
Seminary. "They put them on pedestals, but then 
enjoy yanking them off!" This environment creates 
performance-anxiety that can become emotionally 
overwhelming for many in ministry. 

Richelle Wiseman, in her article at www. Christian- 
ity. ca entitled "Holy Burnout" suggests that one of 



Advent Christian Witness - March/ April 2006 



17 



the major causes of pastoral burnout is gener- 
ated by a classic characteristic of Crisis-Driven 
churches — "unclear and unrealistic expecta- 
tions." 

EXPECTATIONS 

There is a law in physics that simply states, 
"Nature abhors a vacuum." In the Crisis-Driven 
church the role of the pastor is often poorly 
defined, creating a job-description vacuum. Pa- 
rishioners have learned that with enough force, 
they can project their expectations into this 
vacuum and receive the satisfaction they desire. 
Pastors in these settings quickly find themselves 
confronted with an unrestricted list of demands. 
This is a recipe for burnout. 



up, will live in the parsonage, works well with 
the church board, continues their education, 
and uses PowerPoint in the service!" In the end 
32 items were on the page, limited only by the 
amount of time that we had for this exercise. 

Next I asked the candidate to affix the esti- 
mated amount of time in a week that each of 
the items on the page would require. Preaching 
— 20 hours for research and preparation, visi- 
tation — eight hours, Bible study — two hours, 
prayer meeting — two hours, and so it went. 
At the end of the exercise over 135 hours per 
week were required to meet the expectations of 
the search committee! With only 168 hours in a 
week that leaves 33 hours for the pastor to eat, 
sleep, stay spiritually sharp and enjoy his/her 
family. 



Let me illustrate this point. 



At a recent Pastor's retreat I 
had a volunteer act as a "pas- 
toral candidate." I made the 
rest of the pastors the "Search 
committee" of a church looking for a new min- 
ister. Equipping the candidate with a flip chart, I 
asked her to record what the primary roles were 
that the search committee felt their next minis- 
ter must perform. Turning to the search com- 
mittee she asked the question, "What are you 
looking for in your next pastor?" 

Each of the search committee members quickly 
shouted out various roles: "Good preaching, 
visitation, Bible studies on Wednesday nights, 
prayer meetings, small groups, mentoring/dis- 
cipleship programs, evangelist, attracts new 
families, Sunday school director, men's ministry, 
woman's ministry, keeps regular office hours, 
counseling, develops lay leadership, singles 
retreats, marriage enrichment programs, youth 
programs for teens, junior high ministry, ad- 
venture club, short term missions trips, admin- 
istrator, works with other churches, supports 
our conference, is spiritual, helps keep the place 



"... The largest church 

es in the world have 

pastors who have main 

tained the same pulpit 

for 10 or more years." 



Unfortunately pas- 
tors in Crisis-Driven 
churches often try 
to meet all of the de- 
mands. Soon a very pre- 
dictable dissatisfaction 
with the pastor's performance emerges in the 
congregation. The net result is church burnout, 
and a clergy population that on a national aver- 
age changes pulpits every 24 months. 

"This cycle," says Dr. Peter Wagner, a national 
church growth expert, "never allows a church 
to experience the power curve of a pastor's 
ministry. Research clearly shows the most 
dynamic and productive years of ministry 
for a pastor in a church are years^ve through 
seven. This cycle is repeated several more times 
throughout their ministry. The largest churches 
in the world have pastors who have maintained 
the same pulpit for 10 or more years." 

BREAKING THE CYCLE 

How can a Crisis-Driven church create more 
realistic expectations of its leadership? First, 



18 



Advent Christian Witness - March/ April 2006 



identify the leadership structure of the church. 
Second, define the goals of the church and em- 
power the leadership to achieve them. 

Leadership Structure 

In churches of 100 or less the pastor is tradi- 
tionally the only full-time church employee. As 
such he/she is frequently looked upon as the 
leader and primary care-giver to the flock. The 
assumption is commonly made that the pastor 
is in charge. 

Problems arise when dedicated lay volunteers 
view themselves as having protective owner- 
ship of the ministries they perform. Frequently 
sparks fly and fires start when the wires of per- 
ceived pastoral leadership are crossed with the 
wires of perceived laity ownership! 

This is where the question of "leadership au- 
thority" raises its head. Who decides where the 
church is going? Who decides how the church 
will get there? Who controls the troops and the 
finances? 

In the Crisis-Driven church true leadership 
rarely exists in the stated organizational chart. 
Unofl^cial church leadership is often assumed 
by an individual Wagner calls a "gatekeeper." 
"Gatekeepers are those individuals who control 
strategic areas of the ministry such as treasur- 
ers, Sunday school directors, or worship lead- 
ers. They use their power and influ- 
ence to manipulate the leader- 
ship of the church. Although 
they believe they are acting 
in the best interests of the 
church, they often are the 
epicenters of conflict and 
disasters." To create an en- 
vironment where the clergy 
can prosper, a well-defined 
leadership structure must be 
established. 



There are many successful models of church 
leadership that work effectively. T.D. Jakes runs 
his church as the sole manager of the entire 
operation. Bill Hybels surrounds himself with a 
staff and board that eff^ectively make the de- 
cisions for the ministry. Others prefer elder 
boards, official boards, or congregational forms 
of government. The point is not what system 
you use, but doing the hard work oi defining a 
system and using it. 

Defining Goals 

Once a leadership model has been adopted, a 
decision-making process must be entered into 
that establishes clear goals and direction. Un- 
til the goals and direction are clearly defined, 
there will always be competitive forces seeking 
to command the resources of the ministry. Rick 
Warren states, "If you want to build a healthy, 
strong, and growing church, you must spend 
time laying a solid foundation. This is done by 
clarifying, in the minds of everyone involved, 
exactly why the church exists and what it is sup- 
posed to do." 

To lay this foundation, a church must prioritize 
the "to do" list. In the Crisis-Driven church the 
"to do" list is highly subjective, making it both 
endless and potentially a point of conflict. Elim- 
inating an item on this list means that someone 
wiU be disappointed. In many cases the fear of 



I 




Advent Christian Witness - March/ April 2006 



19 



conflict holds the leadership hostage and stops 
the church from achieving success in ministry. 
Until that list is profitable for the common good 
and small enough to be achievable, the church 
will be unable to attain its kingdom potential. 

One method of overcoming the subjective "to 
do" list involves the use of a "force-field analy- 
sis." Economics professor Don Toby states, 
"A force-field analysis is the simple process of 
beginning with a large list of items and system- 
atically reducing the list until you end up with 
a manageable number of things that you can 
really accomplish." 

Back at the Pastors Retreat, I had the group go 
through the process of a force-field analysis. To 
do this I asked them to pick the top 20 items 
on the list. Then I said, "Out of these 20 items, 
what are the 10 most important?" Once the 10 
were selected, I pressed the group again, "What 
are the seven most important?" Then finally, 
"Which five do we absolutely need?" "Is it un- 
reasonable," I then asked the group, "given the 
constraints of time and money, to have a pas- 
tor's job performance based on achieving these 
five items?" The response was, "No." Clearly, if 
we did these five well we would be a productive 
church. "But who will do the rest of the minis- 
tries?" was the unasked question. The answer of 
course, is the Body of Christ. 

Another critical ingredient involved in regulat- 




r* 



ing goals and objectives is to empower your 
leadership to say "no." "No" defines authority. 
"No" establishes boundaries. "No" prioritizes 
the mission. "No" protects the resources. Say- 
ing "no" is important both for the goals of the 
church and the health of the leadership. "Your 
struggle in ministry," shared an old pastor, "will 
rarely be between good and bad. Almost all of 
your challenges will be between good, better 
and best. You will be tempted to say 'yes' all the 
time because it's all good. But to achieve excel- 
lence you need the word 'no' — applied with 
love and respect, but still maintaining the integ- 
rity of the 'n' and the 'o!' 

Neglected Spirituality 

The last place where the Crisis-Driven church 
has unrealistic expectations is in the ability of 
a minister to be spiritual, creative and healthy 
without seasons of renewal. Although there is 
an assumption that the pastor has a deep rela- 
tionship with God, rarely do churches provide 
the time for the pastor to cultivate that rela- 
tionship. Instead we desire "superman" status 
pastors that just keep going. "People love a pas- 
tor who is on fire," shared a Pentecostal friend. 
"They will sit and watch him burn." 

Maintaining healthy leadership requires an 
awareness of the emotional and physical cost 
of the ministry. A case in point is the difference 
between the number of times that most people 
experience the emotional loss of a loved 
one and the number of times clergy 
members experience this grief. 



Most people will live to bury 
their parents and perhaps one 
or two other immediate rela- 
tives. For this they get days off, 
reunions with family mem- 
bers, outside support, months 
of grace to "get over it," and time 
between disasters. In my 25 years of 
pastoring, I have handled the sharp edge 



20 



Advent Christian Witness - March/ April 2006 



of death with 68 famUies. Some were easier than 
others, but they all took a toll out of my own 
heart. There were no days off, no family mem- 
bers or neighbors dropping off supper, and only 
short breaks before the next emotional drain. 

Two years after the burial of an infant who died 
in my arms, I swerved my car off the road and 
began bawling. Suppressed emotions erupted as 
my soul caught up with my body. Of all things, 
a song on the radio collapsed my heart, and I 
grieved. It is an unhealthy thing for people who 
deal with the traumas of life to be denied sea- 
sons of restoration. 

The Spiritual Life Pyramid 

How can a church support the spiritual and 
emotional life of its ministry leadership? One 
way is to give them time to engage in the "Spiri- 
tual Life Pyramid." 

Over the past five years I have worked hard at 
becoming a well-balanced and productive pas- 
tor. Developing this pyramid has given me an 
easy set of guidelines that empowers me to be 
healthy, and empowers the church to objectively 
monitor their support of the spiritual life of 
their leadership. 

At the tip of the pyramid is the word "Daily." 
I need to spend daily time with God. This is 
always in the morning and always before work 
begins. Next is the word "Weekly." Here Pas- 
tors need to develop a day for the Sabbath rest 
and worship and a day for "life." Third is the 
word "Monthly." Built into my world is time to 




spend with spiritually-inspiring accountability 
partners and a mentor each month. Next in the 
pyramid is time "Annually" for education and 
spiritual renewal: one week a year, not counted 
as vacation time. Finally — "Sabbatical." Every 
five years I spend three months on paid leave 
from my church to restore my heart, mind, soul 
and strength. 

Your church does not have to be big or rich to 
develop realistic goals and to support the in- 
dividuals who serve as your pastors. What you 
do need is a willingness to change. By honoring 
those who serve, we will experience their best 
efforts, and their best efforts will richly bless 
your church and the kingdom desires of our 
GOD.* 



Dr. William H. Chadwick is serving as pastor of the 
Stroudwater Christian Church (AC) in Portland, 
Maine 



^•^' 



Advent Christian Witness - March/ April 2006 



21 






^ ot'^'' and fO^ for eadt o^^r ^o 

SPEAKING GOD'S FORGIVENESS 

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A gracEmail subscriber in Missouri asks if it is 
right to confess our sins to another human being, 
and whether a beUever who hears the confession 
can offer forgiveness in the name of Christ. 




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'ertainly no mere human has power 
»\J I to forgive sins, as Jesus' enemies 

^ V^^ correctly noted (Mk. 2:5-7). How- 
l^ ever, in ever-widening circles Jesus empow- 
^]^'V^ ered first Peter, then all the Apostles and 
^J 'finally the whole church to speak forgiveness 
^^*** in his name after he ascended to the Father 



^ 



(Matt. 16:18-19; John 20:21-23; Matt. 18:15- 



^■^Z 20). James later acknowledged the proper 
r— *\ exercise of this function, both by office-bear- 
^ ers acting for the believing community and by 
individual believers as well (James 5:14-16). 

The fact is that "God was in Christ reconciling 
the world to himself, not counting their trespasses 
against them" (2 Cor. 5:19). Through the faithful 
obedience of Jesus Christ culminating in his death 
on the cross "there resulted life to all" (Rom. 5:18). 
The gospel is the good news of our salvation (Eph. 
1:13). It is the message that, through the blood of 
Jesus Christ, God has "made peace" with every 
estranged being on earth and in heaven (Col. 1:19- 
20). Based on this cosmic achievement, believers can 
confidently assure each other of God's pardon (1 John 
2:12). The same divine accomplishment also impels 
believers to inform others who have not yet learned 
of God's forgiveness and to beg them to receive God's 
grace and be reconciled (2 Cor. 5:20 - 6:1). 

22 






You ask about confessing sins to another 
person. Obviously, one should exercise 
judgment in selecting a person in whom to 
confide personal sins. Even well-intentioned 
people are not all capable of handling such a 
responsibility. For that reason, I am here en- 
couraging what sometimes is called "the gen- 
eral confession," in which the gathered congre 
gation reads together a common confession 
of sin and asks God's forgiveness, to which 
another believer responds with an affirma- 
tion of pardon. There is great blessing in hearing 
someone actually say, "You are forgiven for Jesus 
Christ's sake." With this purpose in mind, I have 
assembled a variety of responsive Scripture read- 
ings for use in any church that does not already 
have such a form. Each set includes a declaration 
of confession, of pardon and of praise. To access 
these readings, go to www.edwardfudge.com/writ 
ten/confession. html . Ir' 



© 2005 by Edward Fudge. Unlimited permission to copy 
without altering text or profiteering is hereby granted 
subject to inclusion of this copyright notice. For encour- 
agement and spiritual food any time, visit our multime- 
dia website at www.EdwardFudge.com . 



Advent Christian Witness - March/April 2006 



\ii\pi^ ^"^^^sx 



By Rex Hutto 



M 



father was assigned to an 
Army anti-aircraft unit in the 
)Outh Pacific during World 
War II. Natives on the island be- 
lieved monkey meat to be a delicacy, 
and they showed my dad how they 
captured monkeys. They would 
place an apple in a wide-necked jar, 
then tie a rope around the neck of 
the jar. The other end of the rope 
was tied to a tree. Then they would 
wait. A monkey would come along, i 
look in the jar and see the apple. 
Unable to avoid the temptation of a 
free apple, the monkey would reach 
into the jar and grab it. Though the 
monkey's hand fit easily through 
the mouth of the jar, his fist holding j 
the apple was too large to pull out. 
So the monkey was confined to the 
jar by the apple, and the monkey, 
the apple and the jar were confined 
to the tree by the rope. The natives 
would then untie the rope and before 
you knew it ... monkey stew! 



It's easy to see, of course, that the monkey's un- 
timely demise was easily preventable. All he had to 
do was let go of the apple. But for reasons known 
only to monkey psychologists — was he too stupid 
or too stubborn? — the monkey would not let go 
of the apple, so the natives knew this to be a pre- 
dictably effective way to capture monkeys. 

Advent Christian Witness - March/April 2006 



As my father told me this 
fascinating anecdote, a 
question occurred to me: 
Did the monkey have the 
apple, or did the apple 
have the monkey? It is 
those things that we hold 
on to the tightest that 
imprison us, and it is 
only by releasing them 
that we are set free. 

Bitterness, resentment 
and unforgiveness are 
the apples in many 
Christians' jars. We cling 
to some real or imagined 
offense, feeling entitled 
by our pain to grasp it as 
long and as tightly as we 
wish. But that very act 
sentences us to a prison 
of perpetual pain, its thick 
steel door tightly closed and 
locked against God's healing grace. Only by releas- 
ing the perpetrator through forgiveness can we 
ourselves be set free and made whole. 

Is unforgiveness making a monkey out of you?'ij' 




Rev. Rex Hutto is pastor of the Bear Point AC Church in 
Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia. 



23 



Help Peter and John fflnd which path leads to the empty tomb 




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Find all these words from I John 1:9 in the word search below. 
(Repeated words are used one time) 



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If we confess our 
sins, he is faithful 
and just and will for- 
give us our sins and 
purify us from all 
unrighteousness. 



24 



Advent Christian Witness - March/ April 2006 





..Except ye become P.T- fifffC^ ChffC'lT'fi, ye shad not 
enter into the kingdom of heaven." 



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SFAOBRKIDFUYROPULFMODRRGFIHVJ EQMAERNXWCHDEGNHTUH J EIYKSWISN 
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WIIOLBLFAHLNSHODFCOGRHGDIHVOEPYJOGU . Matthew 6:14 



( 



Advent Christian Witness - March/ April 2006 



25 



THE LIFELINE OF 
FORGIVENESS 



yy^m 




26 



Advent Christian Witness - March/April 2006 



I had the privilege of growing up in the 
ministry. I learned many times over the 
truth and reality of forgiveness. It had 
been exemplified for me as I grew into a 
young woman. We all remember the Bible 
passage in John 8:1-11, where the adulter- 
ess was brought before Jesus, and her ac- 
cusers knew that this was going to be the 
big one. There was no way that Jesus was 
going to go against the laws of Moses, yet 
as Jesus drew in the sand, he said to the ac- 
cusers, "He who is without sin, cast the first 
stone." He continued to draw in the sand, 
and one by one the accusers laid down their 
stones and left. When he asked the adulter- 
ess, "Woman, where are they? Has no one 
condemned you?" she replied, 
"No one, sir." "Then neither do 
I condemn you," Jesus de- 
clared. "Go and sin no more." 



MY JOURNEY 

In 1971 my father, Clint Taber, 
accepted a call to be the pastor of 
the Portsmouth Advent Christian 
Church, in Portsmouth, N.H. I was 
never so thrilled to be there as the 
day that I met one of the friends 
of a boy in the youth group. It was 
February vacation when I first met 
Michael Leach. I was all of 13 years 
old, and Michael was 14 years old. 

On May 1, 1976 I married Mike at 
the Portsmouth church. It was a 
beautiful wedding, and I had the 
honor of my grandfather, Edwin K. 
Gedney; my uncle, Vincent Taber; 
and my father, Clinton Taber, all 
assisting in our wedding ceremony. 
It was the beginning of our journey 
together, and all was right with the 
world. 

Mike and I lived in Portsmouth, 
and in January 1978, we welcomed 
into our lives our first child, Jen- 



Advent Christian Witness - March/April 2006 



nie Rebecca. She was just lovely, and we were very 
happy being her parents. I sometimes had to pinch 
myself that I could be so content in my life. 

A year after Jennie was born, we all moved 
to Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, where Mike was trans- 
ferred. This was a very quiet town, and we felt 
very much welcomed and at home living there. In 
February 1980, our second child, Katie Marie, was 
born. Life was moving along nicely, and we were 
living a very happy life together. 

Along our journey we made other moves - to 
Wallingford, Conn., and our final destination, 
Easthampton, Mass. Mike changed companies 
and became the manager of a local Stop and Shop 
Store in the western Massachusetts area. I was 





very proud of him and his abilities. Our family was 
growing together in the Lord, and we were in- 
volved in our local church. I was thanking the Lord 
for the opportunity to be married to Mike and 
have these beautiful daughters. 

I had noticed in January 1991 that Michael was 
not looking very well. He had a grayish look about 
him and his eyes were sort of bulgy. I was begin- 
ning to be concerned for his health, but he assured 
me that all was well. He had a lot of stress on him, 
which would contribute to him looking that way. 
I accepted that answer but kept a watch on him. 
Mike started working a lot of hours, and even went 
in to work on his days off. I was impressed with his 
dedication but sad to have him away from home so 
much. 

In May 1991, 1 was bringing up a load of laundry 
and the phone was ringing. As I answered it, the 
voice on the other end informed me that my hus- 
band was having an affair with Phyllis, the bakery 



manager (Later, as I began healing from this pain, 
I realized that he had always wanted to "have his 
cake and eat it too."). 

Life, as I had known it, was over. I worked very 
hard to keep my marriage, but Mike, after finally 
admitting to his affair, decided that he did not 
want to stay with me, and he opted to leave our 
home. We had been married for 17 years, and the 
love of my life was gone. 

How do you handle life when someone else makes 
your choices? I knew that my choice would have 
been to get some counseling - someone to guide 
us - and make our marriage work. It would have 
been my choice for my children to have their 
Daddy live in their home with them, but Michael 
made his choices and, inevitably, made ours also. 

When divorce hits your home, it is like a bomb 
going off. There are shattered pieces all over the 
place, and the broken hearts don't know how to 




28 



Advent Christian Witness - March/April 2006 



start healing. I will never forget my child Katie, 
who was 11 years old when her father left, cry- 
ing in her bed in the middle of the night. When I 
went in to comfort her, she was in my arms asking 
"Now that Daddy's gone, who will protect us?" Of 
course, I assured her that Jesus was ever pres- 
ent with us, and that he would always be there to 
protect us, but that child, in that 
lonely moment, wanted her 
Daddy. 

As 1 loved my children 
and became both mother 
and father to them, and 
worked at giving them a 
happy and stable home, 
my theme verse became 
Joshua 24:15 - "As for me 
and my house, we will 
serve the Lord." It doesn't 
matter if you have a hus- 
band or a daddy in the 
home to claim this verse; 
it means that I was able 
to claim some of Mike's 
choices that had affected 
the girls and me, and 
claim it in the name of 
Jesus. No one can destroy 
what God put together, 
and even though Michael 
had chosen to leave, I still 
had two lovely gifts that 
were given to me, and we 
were making a decision to 
serve the Lord and be a home. 

Life went on for us. The girls graduated from high 
school; Jennie married her high school sweetheart, 
Jeremy; and a year and a half after their marriage, 
little Jon (Jack) was born into their lives. God had 
been just wonderful to me and supplied all of my 
needs, and even granted the desires of my heart. I 
had no man in my life, and that was okay. It would 
be God's will if it ever happened, and until that 
time, I was serving the Lord as I had committed to 
do. 

Mike and Phyllis had married after four years of 
living together. I decided that I needed to forgive 
them so that I could move on in my life. I didn't 
want to become a bitter old lady that had been 

Advent Christian Witness - March/April 2006 




hurt so terribly that I had no joy in my life. I asked 
Jesus to forgive them for hurting me, and moved 
on, or so I thought. 

In August 1999, 1 met my second husband, Jim 
Nicoll. He was a gift from God, and we were mar- 
ried in January 2000. Jim's first wife, Nancy, had 
died of a massive heart attack 7 years 
earlier. He had been alone, and 
I had been alone, and when we 
met, we both knew that God 
had placed us together. Jim 
met my "requirement" list, 
and first and most impor- 
tantly, he loved Jesus as his 
Savior. I knew that 1 would 
be able to trust him as long 
as he loved the Lord. 

It was two months after 
our wedding, on a Saturday 
morning, when Jim asked me 
when 1 was going to forgive 
Mike and Phyllis. 1 informed 
him that I was all set, and 
that had been taken care of a 
few years ago. Jim looked at 
me, and said, "Yes, that is all 
good, but when are you going 
to really forgive them?" I was 
not happy with him, and left 
the room to go upstairs. I was 
not going to eat my bagel with 
him; he obviously didn't know 
me very well at all! 

But as I was walking up the stairs to our bedroom 
I was hit with the thought, "What if he is right? 
What if there is more that I need to do?" So I 
went downstairs. Jim was in the living room, and 
I started to cry, and I asked him, "How? How do I 
forgive with my heart?" 

Jim motioned for me to come over to him, and we 
knelt by the couch. We prayed together, and then 
I prayed and asked Jesus to please take the bitter- 
ness, the heartache, the betrayal, and the broken 
trust away, and replace it with his love for me. 

I also took that moment to thank Jesus that Phyl- 
lis loved my grandson as she did, and that she was 
able to be a part of his life. 



29 



I knew that I had prayed earnestly since what I 
forgave was huge. I felt an incredible peace this 
time. I believe that forgiveness is a process. Marion 
Damon once told me that we have to "will to for- 



Many times things 
jiamen to us tht wc 
wui never have ansvjers 
for. ...But when we 
arejaithkl to Goi^ ani 
his will for our lives^ we 
will always how joy. 



A few years after that experience of forgiveness, 
Jennie called me on the phone and asked if I would 
pray for Phyllis. She had just been told she had 
cancer, and it looked very serious. I was able to 
pray for Phyllis and mean it - to ask the Lord to 
touch her life in a very real way and to heal her. I 
was grateful for that. 

A few months after getting that initial phone call 
regarding Phyllis's health, I was shopping at the 
Christian bookstore with Katie, and I found myself 
in the back of the store looking at books on can- 
cer and Christianity. My concern was that Phyllis 
didn't know Jesus, and if she were not going to 
make it, it would be important for her to know 
where she would spend eternity. I bought a book 
for her, and I kept it by my seat in the car waiting 
for the time that God would reveal for her to get 
this book. 

On Christmas Eve morning, at 8:05, as I was 
heading to Rochester, N.H., to spend the holiday 
with my parents, my blinker went on and my car 
headed down the road to Mike and Phyllis's house. 
I told the Lord, "You have to be kidding - today?" 
I explained to God that there were going to be two 
ground rules that I asked him to respect. Number 
one: I am not going in the house. Number two: 
there will be no touching. I did not believe that 
was too much to ask. After all, I was going on a 
mission for him. 



It was pouring down rain this Christmas Eve 
morning, and as I pulled the hood of my sweatshirt 
over my head I ran on the walkway to the front 
stoop and rang the doorbell. No one answered. As 
I looked around for something to put the book in 
so that I could leave, the front door opened, and 
there stood Phyllis in her robe, with her mouth 
opened in total surprise. I didn't know what to say, 
so I said, "What did you want, Santa Claus?" She 
just stared at me, so I presented this book to her 
talking all the while like I was on fast speed. When 
I was finished with my presentation, I noticed I 
was in the living room. Rule number one had been 
broken. Then as I looked at her I noticed she was 
crying, and she just kept saying, "You don't under- 
stand." She was right; I didn't. But God did, and 
he sent me to her that day. As I slowed down long 
enough to take in her emotions, my own emotions 
swept over me, and I took her in my arms and held 
her as she cried. There goes rule number two! As I 
told her that God loved her, and that I hoped she 
would find comfort in the book, I wished her a 
Merry Christmas and left. 

I got in my car and started to sob, and I cried all 
the way to the Massachusetts Turnpike. I call them 
"healing tears." It is only God that could equip me 
to take in my arms and comfort the woman who 
had hurt me so badly. God will not ask us to do 
anything that he will not equip us to do. 



It 15 only Goi that 
couU e(juip me to tale 
in my arms ani comfort 
the woman that had 
hurt me so hadly. 



In January we were holding our Christmas cantata 
at our church. We had had so many storms in De- 
cember that it was postponed until then. Mike and 
Phyllis came to hear the girls sing in the cantata. 
After the program, I went to Phyllis and welcomed 
her, and this time she took me by the hands. She 
told me that on Christmas Eve morning, it took 
her so long to answer the door because she was up 



30 



Advent Christian Witness - March/April 2006 



in her bed asking God, "What do I do with Becky?" 
Having cancer, PhylHs was not sure of her destiny, 
and she was working on getting some things in her 
Hfe in order. I was one of them. 

I will never believe it was a coincidence that I had 
bought that book for Phyllis three weeks earlier, 
and held onto it until God's divine time to give it to 
her. How amazing it is to me, that at the very same 
time I was ringing her doorbell, she was wrestling 
with God about what to do with me! God's timing 
is perfect. 

After that occasion, Jennie called 
again and asked me if I 
would bring Phyllis, Mike 
and her family a meal, 
as they were not eating 
well, and Phyllis was in 
the middle of chemo- 
therapy. I made a roast 
dinner and brought it 
to them. 

Mike and Phyllis 
discovered a need for 
God in their lives, and 
started coming to our 
church (Blessed Hope 
Advent Christian 
Church, in Spring- 
field, Mass.). I was up 
on the stage singing 
with the worship team 
when they came for 
the first time. My im- 
mediate thought was, 
"How many people get 
to worship with two hus- 
bands?" 

Much prayer went up for Phyllis, and after a very 
long haul with cancer, she has been declared can- 
cer free. We praise the Lord for that. 

Many times things happen to us that we will 
never have answers for. Divorce is what I have 
had to live with. I will never know the answers 
about why my husband left me for another 
woman. But when we are faithful to God, and his 
will for our lives, we will always know joy. We 
get hung up on having to have answers instead 




of trusting in the One who is the Answer. 

And when we are faithful to the command in 
Ephesians 4:32 - "Be kind and compassionate to 
one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ 
God forgave you" - we will know peace. 

I never had a grandstand ceremony where Mike 
and Phyllis were informed that I forgave a wound 
that had cut my very soul. In fact, except for my 
actions, they have never been told what took place 
in my living room in March 2000, with my dear 
husband Jim by my side. But if 1 had not listened 
and I had walked away, I would 
always wonder, "Would 
Phyllis have had the op- 
portunity to know Jesus?" 
1 thank God that I made 
the commitment, with 
my children, that no 
matter what life gave 
us, we would stay fast 
and "serve the Lord." 

Many have said to me, 
"That must not have 
been very easy for you 
to do." 1 reply to them 
that when God sends 
you on a mission, he 
will equip you in every 
way to do his work. 

The freedom and peace 
that you receive upon 
true forgiveness is 

nothing this world can 

offer you. 

Forgiveness is not a choice; it 
is a lifeline. We need to remember to let go of the 
pain and the hurt that has consumed our beings 
and trust them to one who "knows our name."1j' 



Rebecca Nicoll is the President of the Eastern Regional 
WH&FMS. She lives in Easthampton, Mass., with her 
husband of six years, Jim Nicoll. They share five chil- 
dren and eight grandchildren. 



Advent Christian Witness - March/April 2006 



31 



}A»B?; 



i^'''!k^ •■*• 



From This 

to 

THIS 



3BSi£e Bookstore - 



^^■■:». t- 



aamjj 



id'HK Women's 
... ^ 1 ■ Interests 



■K 



Venture Bookstore is improving. In order to 
better serve our customers, we are renovating 
our store in Charlotte, N.C. Through a gener- 
ous gift given anonymously, a portion of the 
national office building is being transformed into retail space. The new facility will feature popular Chris- 
tian titles, children's and women's books. Bibles and Advent Christian works. 

Venture Bookstore also has a new website (www.venturebookstore.com). Remember, all profit from 
Venture Bookstore supports Advent Christian ministries. Anyone buying from us not only purchases 
quality material, but also helps equip God's people in Advent Christian ministries around the world. 



Periodicals Postage Paid #007-740 

1 -3-2 

00004343 12/2006 

UNC Chapel Hill Library 

Serials Deot 

CB# 3938 Davis Library 

Chapel Hill NC 27514 



Witness 




Iiii^^iiM2006 




Masculine 
hristianity 



A Wake-up Call for the Big Guys 
Why MenHgle Going to Church 

Plus 



^ ^^K^ Overcoming the Crisis-Driven Church 

< f» J^^^ Part 3 



Witness 



Volume 54, Issue 3 

www.adventchristian.org 

1-800-676-0694 



Managing Editor 
Keith Wheaton 

Editor 
John Roller 

Assistant 
Jan Thomas 

Contributing Editor 
Tom Warner 

Proofreader 
Kathy Wheaton 

Women s Ministiy Editor 
Pam Buchanan 



Advent Christian 
General Conference 



Ron Thomas Executive Director 

ExecDirect@acgc. us 
Nancy Brooks Administrative Assistant 

nhroolis(g),acgc. us 

COMMUNICATIONS 

Keith Wheaton Communications Director 

kwheaton@acgc. us 
Helen Hagler Production & Distribution 

hhagler@acgc. us 
Donna Martin Sales & Distribution 

dmartin(ct),acgc. us 
Tina Pressley Bookstore Sales Manager 

tpressley(a>,acgc. us 
John Roller Publications Coordinator 

jroller@acgc. us 
Dawn Russell Bookstore Sales Assoc. 

dnissell(qJ,acgc. us 
Jan Thomas Administrative Assistant 

jthomasCcvacgc. us 



International Missionaries 



NURTURE 



Sam Warren 
Pam Buchanan 



Nurture Director 

n's Ministries 
Coordinator 

phuchananCwacgc. us 
Mary Ritchie Administrative Assistant 

mrilchieCq)acgc. us 

OPERATIONS 

Richard Russell Operations Director 

rrussellCa),acgc. us 

Finance Assistant 
sefirdCwacgc. us 

Finance Assistant 

ajohnson(a)acgc. us 

Controller 

drutanCaiacgc.us 

OUTREACH 

Tim Fox Outreach Director 

ifox(w,acgc.us 
Julia Brock Administrative Assistant 

jbrock(a),acgc. us 



Shirley Efird 
Amy Johnson 
Dawn Rutan 



Philippines 

Grant Aldridge (7/27) 

P.O. Box 223 

9000 Cagayan de Oro 

Philippines 

aIdridge(a),home.pliilcom.ph 

Jeff and Rhonda Walsh 

PO. Box 223 

9000 Cagayan de Oro 

Philippines 

rjbiwaIsh2@juno.com 



India 

Earl and Martha Wright 

P.O. Box 3164 

Guindy Chennai 600 032 

wright@md3. vsni. net. in 

Ernie Schache( 1/29) 

PO. Box 3 164 Guindy, 
Chennai 600032 
emieschache@vsnl.net 



.Area Directors: 

Scott Dombrosky — Latin 

America/Short-Term Missions 

sdombrosh'Qvcomcast.net 

John Gilbert — Team Leader 

john@99phis 1 . org 

Russell Carle — Europe/Africa 

rkcarle@mfx. net 

Clio Thomas — Asia/Pacific 

cliowestva@msn. com 

On Furlough 

Jeff and Penny Vann 

(7/14 & 5/12; Connie. 3/29; 
Naomi, 10/11) 
134 Essex St. Apt. 202 
S. Hamilton. Mass. 01982 
Jeffvann@ acgc.us 
pennyvann@acgc. us 



National Missionaries 

Liberia 

Abraham David, AC Church, PO. Box 4669, Monrovia, LIBERIA 
Malaysia 

Victor Devadason, No. 24 Jalan Pandan 12, Taman Dato Hormat 42500, 
Teluk Panglima Garang, K. Langat, Selangor, MALAYSIA 

James Devadasson, 20 Jalan Intan 4, Taman Intan, 86000 Kluang, Johor, MALAYSIA 

Ruth Devalrakkam, 36 Jalan 14/2, Taman Sri Kluang, 86000 Kluang, Johor, MALAYSIA 
Kenya 

Simeon Rlanga, AC Church, P.O. Box 68, Nyamarambe-Kisii, KENYA 
Memphis 

Francis Sseblklndu, 2175 CarroUwood, Cordova, TN 38016-4608 
Mexico 

John Gilbert, RO. Box 90 1 9 SF 1 68, Calexico, CA 92332-90 1 9 

Martin Camacho Valdez, c/o John Gilbert (above) 

Samuel Avalos - Madrigal, c/o John Gilbert (above) 

Miguel Mena Arrellano, c/o John Gilbert (above) 
Croatia 

Desire Ahola, PO. Box 29, Nova Gradiska, 35400 CROATIA 
India 

Jeeva Klruban, Box 3164, Guindy, Chennai 600 032, INDIA 
Ghana 

Simon Bissah, AC Church, P.O. Box 604, Nsawam, Eastern Region, GHANA 
New Zealand 

David Burge, 12 Bettina Place, Manurcwa. Auckland, NEW ZEALAND 
South Africa 

Nathan Fernando Killma, 14 Dick Muller Drive, Norkem Park 1620, S. AFRICA 2028 
Nigeria 

Christian Paul, Ukot Udoabia PA., Etinan, L.G.A., Akwa Ibom State, NIGERIA 
Malawi/Mozambique 

Paul Sosono, Box 190, Nsanje, Malawi 
Myanmar 

Timothy Kham Mang, Illainta Ya Township, PO. Box 619, Yangon, Myanmar 
China 

Please send correspondence through the missions office: c/o Dept. of World Outreach 

.'\dvent Christian Witness (ISSN #0741-4302) is published bimonthly by the Advent Christian General Conference of 
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As the official publication of the Advent Christian General Conference, the Advent Christian Witness publishes the 
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Ihc Advent Christian General Conference. Member: Evangelical Press Association. Copyright © 2006. 

Advent Christian Witness - May/June 2()06 



From the Editor 

1 



Contents 




"Be a man!" I've sometimes heard these words 
when faced with a challenge I wasn't feeling ready 
for. My first reaction to that expression was, "How 
can a man do anything but 'be a man'?" 

I also struggle with that expression on an emotional 
level. I never had much of a male role model for 
most of my teen years. My father died when I was 
13. My sister was 1 1; my brother not quite 4. At my 
dad's funeral, a well-meaning friend tried to en- 
courage me by saying, "Well, you're 'the man of the 
house' now!" My reaction was, "No, I'm not! And I 
never will be, either!" 

Many boys who lose a dad find a needed role model 
in an older brother, uncle, grandfather, or coach. 
I had no older brother; uncles lived far away; one 
grandfather had already died; the other was slowly 
dying of a long-term illness; and I wasn't involved 
in sports. So, there was no one to show me how to 
"be a man" till I was old enough to actually be one. 

What is a man, anyway? Here's the first reference 
to "man" in the Bible: 

"And God said, 'Let us make man in our image, af- 
ter our likeness: and let them have dominion over 

(Editorial continued on page 25) 
Advent Christian Witness - May/June 2006 



Editorial 3 

Dr. John Roller 

A Wake-up Call for the Big Guys 4 

Rev. David Ross 

I Miss My Dad 6 

Dr. David C. Alves 

Remembering Jimmy 10 

Miriam Snow Priebe 

Painters and Street Sweepers 12 

Fred Honeycutt 

Overcoming The Crisis-Driven 14 

Church Part 3 

Dr. Thomas S. Warren II 

Why Men Hate Going to Church 20 

David Murrow 

Twisted Scriptures 22 

Rev. Tom Warner 

A Word From Our President 24 

Rev. Brent Ross 

As Children 26 

Dawn Russell 

The Inside Scoop 28 

Pam Buchanan 



"I know that little eyes 
are watching ... 





A WAKI-UP CAU 



By Rev. Dave Ross 



"I know that little eyes are watching ... 
So, Lord, you've just got to make me a 

better man!" Listening to one of our guys pray 
these impassioned words one Sunday evening not 
long ago, I thought, "So, it's come to this, has it? 
Thank you, Jesus!" 

It began in the heart of God, but from our perspec- 
tive at Fellowship Church in Taylorsville, N.C., it 
went back to the day last winter when I picked up 
a book from the discount shelf at one of our local 
Christian bookstores and began to browse through 



its pages. The book, by Rick Bundschuh, was self- 
described as "A call for a Christian rite of passage to 
guide boys into godly manhood." Its tide was "Passed 
Thru Fire." The author is a lifelong churchgoer, but his 
critique of the way we Americans tend to do church 
these days can be extremely pointed and uncomfort- 
ably accurate. 

He describes a typical church wherein the men are 
kind of laid-back and passive, while a core group 
of women do the "heavy lifting" when it comes to 
many areas of church life, and especially children's 
ministry. The problem is that these women have 

Advent Christian Witness - May/June 2006 



never been boys, and boys don't learn the same 
way that girls do. The goal often becomes to con- 
trol, corral, and quiet the boys, so that at least the 
girls can learn something. 

The bottom line is this: boys will best learn to grow 
up into Christian manhood from being around 
Christian men. Everywhere we look boys are crav- 
ing the leadership of men, taking their cues from 
watching the men in their life (whether those men 
are aware of their impact as role models or not). In 
a society where the majority of boys are now grow- 
ing up in a home without their biological dad, the 
need for intentional male role models has never 
been more acute. 

As I read Bundschuh's book, I could see the boys of 
our church and neighborhood on page after page. 
It reminded me of perhaps the most significant 
disciple-making need in 
our church. The Apostle 
Paul once admonished 
Pastor Titus: "Encourage 
the young men to be self- 
controlled. In everything 
set them an example 
by doing what is good. 
In your teaching show 
integrity, seriousness and 
soundness of speech that 
cannot be condemned" (Titus 2:6-8a). I started 
passing the book around to some of the guys in our 
church (a real challenge, as most men don't read 
many books). As I did so, I prayed and asked the 
guys to read at least certain designated chapters. 
Then a miracle began to happen — most read more 
— so I went back to the bookstore and bought all 
nine copies that they had in stock (Not a big deal; 
remember, they were on the discount shelf.). 

We scheduled a breakfast to get the guys together 
for a discussion. Men will come to breakfast, es- 
pecially if there's enough grease involved. A week 
or so before the breakfast, "Newsweek" magazine 
came out with a cover story on "The Boy Crises," '' 
basically telling how boys are falling behind at ev- 
ery level of our educational system largely because: 
a) the system is designed mostly by and for girls 
(i.e., unless you're in sports there are few oppor- 
tunities to learn via aggressive activity), and b) an 
ever increasing number of boys have no positive 
male role model at home. About 20 guys showed 
up for our breakfast, more than half of whom had 



The bottom line is this: hoys 
will hest learn to grow up into 
Christian manhood rrom be- 
ing around Christian men. 



read at least sections of the book. God began a 
movement that morning. 

Fellowship Church once had an official men's 
ministry, but it had disbanded due to declining 
interest shortly before I arrived as pastor in 2003. 
One of my regrets was that I never got to be part of 
it. Since that time, we realized that if ever we were 
to have a dynamic men's ministry which would be 
in any measure self-sustaining, it would have to 
be strongly purpose-driven. Over these past few 
months, the Lord has given us such a purpose: to 
help the boys of our church and community grow 
up into Christian manhood. 

To that end, we've begun meeting weekly with a 
volunteer strategy team of six to eight guys. Al- 
most every time we meet, we eat (seems to work 
for us), either at the church, a local restaurant or in 
one of the guys' homes. 
We're doing mostly 
dreaming and praying at 
this point. Already we've 
taken some of the boys 
to a local hobby car race 
night. Next week a bunch 
of us are taking some 
boys to a Hickory Craw- 
dads game (our local mi- 
nor league baseball team). 
On Memorial Day, we plan to show a classic John 
Wayne war movie, then take the boys over to the 
cemetery to decorate the graves of some military 
veterans. It's time these boys learned something 
about real heroes. 

As I've intentionally taken the time lately to begin 
building relationships with a few of the neighbor- 
hood boys at the basketball court out behind the 
church, I've been learning a couple of things: a) 
that "knock-out" (a favorite local basketball diver- 
sion) can be much tougher and tiring than it looks 
from the sidelines; and b) that the boys in our 
community are crying out for men to spend some 
time with them. "Lord, how could I have been so 
blind, so busy with church stuff not to notice?" 
Well, these young guys are not blind. Little eyes 
are always watching ... "so Lord, you've just got to 
make me a better man!"'!}' 

* "Newsweek," January 30, 2006 

Rev. David Ross is pastor of the Bethlehem AC Church 
in Taylorsville, N.C. 



Advent Christian Witness - May/June 2006 



I] 


M] 


IS 


1^ 


[v 


II 



Bv Dr. David C. Alves 



His birthday was August 
22. In two days he would 
have been 80, 1 think. I 
don't even know what 
year he was born, so I'm 
not sure without asking 
my mom. We were just 
getting close again when 
he died. 



Dad and I were inseparable whei 

dad and I were closer again in his last years, but 

there were many years in between, from college 

on, when I was not interested in ; 

with my parents. It was too painful, though I 

tried most with dad. 

Right around the time of their breakup, mom 
called me in Boston to confront i 
father's behavior — the results of her metici 
sleuthing. She had motel receipts, phone records, 
dates, times, gas receipts, odometer readin^ 
She had even followed him one night. I couldn't 



Mom drew a line in the sand for me when sh( 
issued the ultimatum: "You are either for you 
le. What will it be?" 



made vour cnoices. 



isured public, I tried to avoid them. I somehow thought 



lys Domerea mm, no maiier now ma: 
busmess awards he got or no matter what I said 
lever felt he measured up." 

' 'n't believe she was talking about the sa 
le that success in this life was 
just doing your best. "Son, do your best. That's a 
ill anvone can ask. Do vour 



1 was right about this idea of insecurity 
se one day, while sitting on his bark dprk 
overlooking the Bass River in South Ya 
had a quiet talk. 

"Dad, why didn't you teach me and Ken and 
Dorothv (mv brother and sister) to speak 



ana everyone couia see tnat 1 1 

it didn't. Nowadays, it might seem strange to you 

that I wanted no part of my cultur; 

but in the forties and fifties, it was different. 

Today's level of acceptance wasn't there. We were 

in houses built by the Ludlow Mills. I i 

I was the 'dumb Portagee from Franklin Street.' 

That's why I reacted to that term so stron[^ ^ 

I heard you or anyone else use it. That's why I 

didn't teach my kids the language." 

Mom was rieht. He was embarrassed and felt 



lends. None of us, incli 
id what dad must have fe 
p in "Little Lisbon." 



^ ! it all the time on 
Sunday at Voh's (my 
Grandmother) and on 
the phone with your 
cHents." 

He eazed off across the 

it the carpeted 
greens of the golf 
course. "Well, I'm not 

<:iirp Mavhp T iiist 



wanted to pi 
behind me." 



"Behind you ... what do you mean? You didn't like 
the language?" 

"Son, you can never know what it's like to grow u] 
in a country where you're considered an outsider, 
squeezed into an end of town and labeled. I grew 
up in the 'Portuguese Section.' Sometimes they 
called it 'Little Lisbon.' I know that my friends 
didn't mean it, bi ' ' 

Portagee.' I now know that I shouldn't have been, 
)arrassed about the thick accents m) 
father and mother had. I would try to keep my 
friends awav fror 



When we violate love and trusty we 
hurt everyone around us and we hurt 
ourselves in the long rum My dad 
would do it differently today if he 
could. 



Yet with all this, my dad was a delig 
loving person. I remember NEVER 
to bring my friends home to meet h 
him. I began to suspect that some o 
""me over to my house after school 
my dad. I didn't envy him though. I 
proud of him. I was thrilled to have 

At the adult parties they had weekh 



The strains of the old 



shine on Dorothy ca 
dad. It's toe 



iKiffiiMiiiMiraMi^MrRnWff 



ned ried, visited her in Florida and wanted to see h 
e granddaughters. Dorothy and dad h?^ 



M i li i i 



ch a wonderful 
ed us in house- grandfather to my kids' 1 never went to visit them 
hold chores. Mom handled the domestic issues again." 

— groceries, decor, meals, bills, kids' medical and 

clothing needs, and so on. Perhaps feminists would What pain we cause others when we make choice 

t to make ourselves comfortable! When we violate 



Lnd us and we 
_: run. My dad would do it 
he could. So would mv mom. 



asked mom if there was anything she regretted 



le so that I couldn t talk 
;h my tears. The pain and 
ished was too much. The 



ve to end tne wav it did, welled 



really love each other. But they just can't se 
It of the choices they've made. Your 



Dorothv. and me. Tl 



lever knew how deeply I felt 
about my dad (and mom) and their breakup. I 
think something happened inside me when I wrote 

le to forgive him for the 
pain it caused us. I know I had forgiven him in- 



id pain that resulted 

from their divorce — and his death. 

I believe that perhaps now I am reconciled to 
fhc^ ridci- anri non dr-r-ont r^y Jad as a man and a 



^. 



ememoeY'ivi 



I 





9 



(^mmi^ 



By Miriam 
Snow Priebe 



"y immy is not his real name, but he was a real boy 
I whom we knew very well many years ago. This 
i morning, at breakfast, Charles mentioned his name 

and we had a long talk as we remembered his short life. 

Our church had a very large Sunday school at the time 
we met Jimmy. The school had grown a great deal, and 
that year we started a new system, which was highly 
recommended, of having two teachers for every class. 
The idea was that one would do the teaching while the 
other would record what went on in the class and what 
the responses of the pupils were. It was a good idea, 
but it made staffing the Sunday school very difficult. 
It is always hard to find just the right person for each 
age group; to find two such people who could work 
well together presented a real challenge. We did a lot of 
praying and somehow, with God's help, we got the 14 



10 



teams of two, and found places for every group to meet. 
I visited the classes regularly to see how the new system 
was working. 

The most successful and creative teachers were those 
who were married couples, although some who were 
not did very well. Often the married couples took inter- 
est in the children during the week and even invited 
them into their homes. Our school grew a great deal 
that year. We also had weekly teachers' meetings, which 
turned out to be exciting and worthwhile. 

The couple who seemed to be doing the best job had a 
class of all boys ages 10 and 11. 1 don't remember the 
reason for having that particular class just for boys, but 
Charles and I were very impressed at the enthusiasm of 
the students who were bringing their friends to join the 

Advent Christian Witness - March/April 2006 



class, which Mr. and Mrs. Allen taught. The secret was 
that the teachers really loved their pupils. Into this class 
came Jimmy with a friend. 

Jimmy had never been to Sunday school before and 
would have been elected, if there had been such an 
election, as the boy least likely to come to church. The 
home from which he came had lots of people in it. 
There were two family groups there, and Jimmy rep- 
resented a third family where there were no parents. 
I believe it was a loving group of people in that home, 
but there was no way that it could be described as an 
ideal home. 

Early in the year Jimmy was not in class one Sunday. 
When the teachers inquired about his absence, Jimmy's 
buddy said that he had a bad cold. That news required 
some action on the part of the teachers. Usually it was 
the custom to send out a little get well card saying, "You 
have been missed" or something like that. Most of the 
teachers were very conscientious about that. They were 
all busy people, but they took their jobs seriously. How- 
ever, Mr. and Mrs. Allen went the second mile. They 
took a bouquet of flowers to Jimmy. 

A large group of "family" gathered to watch as Jimmy 
came downstairs to receive the visitors. His eyes 
opened wide as he saw the flowers. "Are they for me?" 
he asked. "Nobody ever brought me flowers!" Others 
in the family nodded and exclaimed at the gift. Charles 
and I were astounded and pleased. After that experi- 
ence, nothing would have kept Jimmy from Sunday 
school, and about that time the rest of the family 
started coming to church. 

His Sunday school teachers reported at teachers' meet- 
ings about what a great addition Jimmy made to their 
class. Mrs. Allen said, "He is always grateful for any 
little kindness that is shown him. He probably has less 
than any boy in our class, but he is glad for what he has. 
He is grateful for the families that took him in when he 
had no family. He is glad to be in our class! When we 
talked to the boys about what Jesus had done for us, 
Jimmy was the first to say that he was thankful to have a 
Savior like Christ!" 

Years passed. We got to know Jimmy and his "family" 
very well. They had a lot of hard times and troubles. 
School work was difficult for Jimmy, and he struggled 
to keep going. The time was in the 60s and people 
were agonizing over the war. Families were divided 
and young men were deciding what to do. Almost im- 

Advent Christian Witness - March/April 2006 



mediately after he graduated from high school, Jimmy 
joined the army. It was what he wanted to do. He came 
home once after basic training, proud of his uniform 
and grateful to be in the Armed Forces. Then he was 
shipped out to Vietnam. Within a month, he was killed. 

Jimmy was one of the first soldiers in our little com- 
munity to be killed. At our church, people were devas- 
tated. His body was shipped home, and a great crowd 
of people came out for his funeral at our church. It was 
like losing one of our own children. It was a difficult 
service for Charles to conduct. 

In the little cemetery behind the church, Jimmy was 
given the full military graveside service. There were the 
gun salutes and the folded flag handed to a grieving 
member of Jimmy's "family." Over at one side I saw the 
Aliens, who were crying; so was I, and so were most of 
the people there. A friend standing near me whispered, 
"This is the most beautiful thing that ever happened to 
Jimmy! I can imagine Jimmy saying, 'Is this all for me?'" 

Well, that is the story of Jimmy. He taught us all what 
gratitude is all about. We are looking forward to seeing 
him again, and it will be a great reunion.'lr' 




f 








^imi 





by Fred Honeycutt 




Thoughts from a recent 
mission trip to Honduras 



Advent Christian Witness - May/June 2006 



Yesterday as we were painting the walls in the room and hall area at the new clinic in the small 
city of Macuehzo, Santa Barbara, Honduras. Pastor John Harper (from the Advent Christian 
Village), looked up and noticed that the metal beams (holding the roof on and the walls to- 
gether) were smudged with plaster drippings and white paint that were used for the base coat all over 
the inside of the clinic. "It would be a shame to put all the work in the walls and leave these beams as 
they are. Why don't we touch them up and clean up the lines between the wall and the beams?" 



The sharp contrast between the canary yellow walls and the rust brown beams did seem to highlight 
the overruns and spills of white on the beams, I thought. As this task involved considerable climbing, 
I volunteered and began to dutifully scrape the plaster drippings and replace the area with a generous 
coat of rust brown. My first actions were to paint only what one could see from the floor — to "hit 
the high spots." Having to get on the top rungs of a tall stepladder to paint the beams resurrected 
a thought from my cranial archives: Michelangelo — the way he painted 
the ceiling of the Sistine chapel, flat on his back, painting 
Biblical characters, high in the air, but detailing every one 
of them as if they were to be framed and put on display. 
These works were meant to be seen from a distance, so 
why the detail? "Why not just cover what could be seen 
from the floor?" I argued with myself. 

Then I thought of a quote from Dr. Martin Luther 
King, Jr., "If your lot in life is to be a street sweeper, 
sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, as 
if you were sweeping the very streets of gold. Sweep 
streets so well that all the hosts of heaven will have 
to pause and say: Here lived a street sweeper who 
swept his job well." 

I thought of the apostle Paul as he encouraged the 
readers of Colossians 3:23: "In whatever you do, work 
at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not 
for man." 

As I was climbing down the ladder preparing to 
move to another spot, an unpainted smudge of 
white way back in the corner (where no one 
could see) caught my eye. 

I climbed back up that ladder and 
stretched to cover this "hidden" spot. Af- 
ter all, I'm working for the King of Kings, 
the Prince of Glory — God Himself 
I'm painting the shelter that 
covers his ministers of 
mercy and grace to 
the least of these. 
To me, that is my 
Sistine chapel!'{f= 

Advent Christian Witness - May/June 2006 





Advent Christian Witness - May/June 2006 




CRjSiSrdrivm , 

cmrcJhi 



Part 3: Subversive Discord: 
TongueSy Tales &Triangles 

By Dn Thomas S. Warren II 



Once upon a time, a man who had been stranded on a deserted island for 15 years 
was rescued. As they were leaving, the pilot of the helicopter noticed three 
buildings on the island. Out of curiosity, he asked the man about the buildings. 
The first building, the man declared, "is my house." And, the building over there "is where 
I go to church." Noticing that there was one more building on the island, the pilot asked, 
"What about the building way over there?" "Oh," said the man, "that's where I used to go 
to church!" Talk about conflict! It can't get much worse than not being able to get along 
with oneself! 

Recently, as I was speaking with a man about a problem that had occurred in his church, he asked me, 
"Can't we all just get along?" Apparently not; according to a recent survey conducted by Thom Ranier 
in his newest book, "Breakout Churches,"' 171 of the 172 problems identified in the churches surveyed 
were problems concerning issues between other Christians. According to Ranier, the health of a local 
church is largely dependent upon its ability to work through the problems that go on between believ- 
ers. Unfortunately, many churches give up the fight and grow weary of the struggle. On the other hand, 
healthy churches have a track record that demonstrates their commitment to persevering. 
Advent Christian Witness - March/April 2006 



15 



Someone once said that conflict in the church is 
neither good nor evil — only inevitable. After 30 
plus years of pastoral experience, I would go one 
step further and say that a church without conflict 
is probably a dead church. The idea that a healthy 
church is one that is trouble-free misses the point 
entirely. The church needs tension if it is to grow. 
Tensions come from conflict and, if dealt with ap- 
propriately, can signal good things for the future. 
A noted Christian psychologist states, "The differ- 
ence between spiritual and unspiritual community 
is not whether or not conflict exists, but is rather 
in our attitude toward it and our approach to han- 
dhng it.^ 



WHAT'S IN YOUR CUP? 

The church often behaves similarly to a husband 
and wife within the relationship of marriage. For 
example, the wife gets her feelings hurt for some 
reason but chooses not to make it a big deal. Her 
solution is to stuff the hurt in an emotional cup. 
The idea of an emotional cup was popularized by 
Dr. David Ferguson in his book, "Intimate Encoun- 
ters." Ferguson writes, "A cup filled with positive 
emotions will overflow with love, joy, and peace 
— the fruit of the Spirit. But a cup filled with un- 
healthy emotions such as bitterness, resentment, 
anger, guilt, fear, and anxiety will cause symptoms 
of stress and prevent you from feeling positive 
emotions."-^ 

The practice of stuffing our feelings into an emo- 
tional cup is not unique to the family. People in 
the church have practiced this method of handling 
their problems for years. Quite often, a particular 
person or family will be identified as the source of 
a problem in a church, but it is probably more ac- 
curate to say the church as a whole has not devel- 
oped a method of dealing with conflict that moves 
toward resolution, resulting in a subversive way of 
reacting to the problem at hand. Many folks who 
have a problem with a pastor or another person in 
the church will hold on to the problem until some- 
thing happens that ignites their anger. 




Unfortunately, even though these feelings are 
stuffed into an emotional cup, there are ways in 
which the rumbling in the cup makes its way to 
the surface prior to eruption. The source of these 
feelings and attitudes come from deep within the 
fabric of what makes a church a church. Everyone 
is influenced by their environment or context in 
which they live. It is no different in the church. 
Each person responds to conflict largely due to the 
influence of their family of origin and, in the case 
of the church, their church of origin. The shaping 
power of one's experience in the family and in the 
church can be tremendous. 

A person may be impacted by a variety of con- 
texts of influence that exist within the church such 
as historical, familial, pastoral, theological and 
geographical/sociological:^ By describing an imagi- 
nary person, one can gain a sense of what one who 
has been influenced by the various contexts might 
look like in a local church. Each person, of course, 
would look a little different, due to the various de- 
grees of influence upon the person by the different 
contexts. I like to call this person IMA STUCK. 
Below is a brief description: 

IMA has been in the church for many years. In fact, 
she was raised in the church from the time ofin- 



16 



Advent Christian Witness - May/June 2006 



fancy. Her grandmother was the one who began the 
cradle roll program and today the nursery is named 
in her honor Her great-great-grandfather was the 
founding pastor of the church and his grandson, 
IMA's father, is an elder in the church today. Ev- 
eryone looks to IMA's dad as the patriarch of the 
church. If he's in favor of an idea, then most people 
will follow through on it. 

IMA's family has a lot of influence in the church 
today, especially since most of the church is STUCK 
too! If you're not a STUCK, it's a good possibil- 
ity that you are married to one. The church hasn't 
grown much over the years except for all of the little 
STUCKS being born. Ever since the split in 1965, 
not too many UNSTUCK people have joined the 
church, which means it's like one big family. 

Going against the family isn't a wise thing to do, 
even if you're the pastor Oh, you might be able to 
make some progress, but if you fight it too much you 
will be looking for a new church. Most of the pas- 
tors either went along with the opinion of the family 
or they just kept it to themselves. Any attempt to 
change things would be met with stiff resistance. 

The one thing IMA liked about her church was that 
she knew what to expect. Everybody dressed the 
same and thought the same way about most sub- 
jects. They read from the same kind of Bible and 
sang the same songs that their grandparents had 
sung 50 years ago. Nothing new was tried in this 
church. They knew their theology, which they called 
"old time religion',' and no one was going to show 
them anything different. If you didn't like what 
you heard at IMA's church, you could always go to 
another one. 

Yes, IMA's church was a fixture in the community. 
It had been therefor many, many years. The sad 
thing is that most of the community didn't know 
anything about the church, and the people in the 
church knew very little about the community. 
They were just STUCK right there on the corner of 
Church Street, content to just be there. Not many 
people cared that the church was there, nor ever felt 



the impact of the church in their lives. As far as the 
church was concerned, that was just fine for them. 

IMA no longer attends the church as she died last 
year, but don't worry — there are many others just 
like her who are coming along to take her place. 

Many pastors have found themselves in similar 
situations with little hope of change taking place. It 
would appear that there are basically two options 
available when a leader finds himself in this type 
of situation: 1) give up on the church and leave, or 
2) remain in the church in order to confront the 
problem, and hope that your effort will lead to a 
discovery or creation of a satisfactory resolution 
for everyone involved. 

THE REAL DEAL 

Not every church is plagued by a domineering 
patriarch or matriarchal figure, or even a family 
that has been around for a hundred years. Yet few 
churches are growing and developing in the way 
that the Bible prescribes. What could be the prob- 
lem? If the evidence is not readily seen, it is likely 
that there is something going on behind the scene 
that is causing the lack of growth. 

Since the family of origin is such a powerful force 
in the development of a person's character, it is a 
likely place to begin when looking for answers to 
one's problems. Parents are notorious for mean- 
ing well, but quite frankly we, too, violate a basic 
principle when we simply pass on what our par- 
ents did to us as being right. The failure to help 
our children make wise choices has led us in the 
world of the church to the point where we do not 
know how to deal with conflict in a way that brings 
resolution. 

If a child has never been taught how to listen or to 
carefully weigh all of his options when confronted 
by a problem in life, it is unlikely that he or she 
will behave any differently when they grow older. 
They will inevitably want it their way, which is the 



Advent Christian Witness - May/June 2006 



17 



way they were taught, and resist any other options. 
Frank Martin suggests in his book, "War in the 
Pews: A Foxhole Guide to Surviving Church Con- 
flict" that selfishness is the motivating factor in the 
hearts of church people who live life in this way.^ 
Unfortunately, the situation is made worse by the 
fact that most people in the church believe they 
own the organization. 

Churches that do not have a simple and proactive 
way of getting their people to address the problems 
that surface in their ministries are setting them- 
selves up for failure. There are many reasons that 
people are unwilling and unable to seek resolutions 
to their problems, perhaps the greatest being a lack 
of trust. According to Patrick Lencioni, the author 
of the popular book, "Five Dysfunctions of a Team" 
people who "... don't trust one another aren't going 
to engage in open, constructive, ideological con- 
flict. If this happens they will continue to preserve 
a sense of artificial harmony where people hold 
back their opinions and honest concerns."^ 

ITS TIME TO SPEAK UP 

While all relationships require productive conflict 
in order to grow, paralysis can come by the need 
for complete agreement and the ability to move 
beyond debate. Internal blocks such as denial (not 
admitting the problem), feelings of inadequacy 
(can't face the problem) or avoidance (not getting 
involved) can prevent the church from moving 
forward in a positive direction. When the church 
does not openly debate and disagree about im- 
portant ideas, they often turn to behind-the-back 
personal attacks, which are far nastier and more 
harmful than any heated argument over issues. 
Churches that avoid conflict actually doom them- 
selves to revisiting issues again and again without 
resolution. 

Given today's emphasis upon teamwork, especially 
in a church that is being controlled by individuals, 
one can see why conflict would go underground. 
Quite often, conflict not expressed directly sur- 
faces in other non-productive ways, usually in 



arguments over peripheral issues. Conflict not 
expressed and resolved can escalate out of control, 
with disastrous consequences. According to the 
late Michael Yaconefli, founder of Youth Special- 
ties, people who major on these petty issues have 
gone too far. 

Petty people are ugly people. They are people who 
have lost their vision. They are people who have 
turned their eyes away from what matters and 
focused, instead, on what doesn't matter. The re- 
sult is that the rest of us are immobilized by their 
obsession with the insignificant. It is time to rid the 
church of pettiness. It is time the church refused to 
be victimized by petty people. It is time the church 
stopped ignoring pettiness. It is time the church quit 
pretending that pettiness doesn't matter ... pettiness 
has become a serious disease in the Church of Jesus 
Christ — a disease which continues to result in ter- 
minal cases of discord, disruption, and destruction. 
Petty people are dangerous people because they 
appear to be only a nuisance instead of what they 
really are — a health hazard. ' 

THE FIRST STEPS 

Entropy is the bodily reaction to heat rising in 
the body. When this happens the body begins to 
lose the energy that is available to work. During 
conflict, energy can be lost when the people in- 
volved do not use it for the right reason. The most 
eff'ective way to insure that this happens is when 
the church experiences what Thom Ranier calls 
the ABC moment. The ABC moment can best be 
described in the following way: 

A- Awareness that something is not right in 
the church. 

When a church fails to identify a problem, it usu- 
ally means that the leadership (and/or church) is 
engaging in some unsuccessful problem-solving 
techniques such as ignoring the problem (denial, 
burying), protecting themselves from the problem 
(defensiveness, rationalization), retreating (fanta- 
sy), blaming (introjection or projection) or nega- 



18 



Advent Christian Witness - May/June 2006 



tive transfer (badmouthing others). 

B- Belief that something can be accomplished 
by seeking out and confronting the brutal 
facts about the church's inadequacies. 

To believe means that the church is willing to en- 
gage in successful problem-solving techniques and 
practices, which include exercises such as defining 
(describing the problem), opting (analyzing causes 
and listing alternatives), organizing (making a 
plan), learning (enacting a plan, accepting defeat, 
learning from defeat), persevering (trying again 
and again) and motivating (staying on top of emo- 
tional, cognitive and behavioral needs). This step 
accepts the fact that problems are solved by action, 
not reaction. 

C- Crisis means understanding the church's 
purpose and getting the right people and 
structure in place so the church can move forward. 

The ability to persevere through the handling of a 
problem will not only build character but identify 
character. It is not always a bad thing to see how 
people respond to the presence of conflict. How- 
ever, the more you handle conflict (hopefully), the 
better you will get at going through the process. If 
a problem is allowed to remain unresolved, even- 
tually it will become a crisis. The one good thing 
about a crisis is that a formerly unresolved prob- 
lem will get addressed. In the end, the presence of 
a crisis usually indicates that the techniques and 
methods being used to deal with the problem are 
inadequate and lacking, suggesting that new meth- 
ods are needed. 

Once a church has experienced an ABC moment 
they are able to reframe the issue from an internal, 
behind-the-scene type of problem to an external 
problem to be solved. Once the problem becomes 
a shared problem, each member of the church 
can work together to find a solution. There is no 
need to talk around the water cooler or share your 
thoughts with a person not involved directly in the 
conflict (triangle). It is correct that conflict oc- 
curs when two or more people try to occupy the 

Advent Christian Witness - May/June 2006 



same space at the same time, especially when their 
communication is guarded and not honest. How- 
ever, anything can happen, even resolution, when 
people are willing to come out from hiding and 
share their needs and opinions, particularly when 
both parties are striving for the same purpose: 
resolution that advances the work of Christ through 
his church. Then, and only then, can discord turn 
to unity (Ephesians 4:1-3): 

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you 
to live a life worthy of the calling you have 
received. Be completely humble and gentle; 
he patient, hearing with one another in love. 
Make every effort to keep the unity of the 
Spirit through the bond of peace. "^ 

(Endnotes) 

' Thom Ranier, "Breakout Churches," (Grand 
Rapids, Ml: Zondervan, 2005), p. 192. In this book, 
built upon the type of study conducted by Jim Col- 
lins in his book, "Good to Great," Ranier identifies 
the characteristics of "Good to Great" churches 
which he calls "Breakout Churches." Those church- 
es which do not measure up are called "compari- 
son churches." 

'' Larry Crabb, "The Safest Place on Earth" (Nash- 
ville, TN: Word Publishing, 1999), p. 40. 
^ David Ferguson, "Intimate Encounters" (Austin, 
TX: Relationship Press, 2001), p. 17. 
^ Thomas S. Warren II, "The Alexander Antidote" 
(Kearney, NE: Morris Publishing, 1996), p. 18-25. 
^ Frank Martin, "War in the Pews: A Foxhole Guide 
to Surviving Church Conflict" (Downers Grove, 
IL: InterVarsity Press, 1995), p. 152-167. Martin 
identifies a variety of "peace busters" including: 
l)the Me factor; 2)majoring on the minors; 3)legal- 
ism; 4)gossip; 5)miscommunication; 6)when tradi- 
tion becomes doctrine; 7)unchecked immorality; 
8)power politics; and 9)doctrinal differences. 
^ Patrick Lencioni "Five Dysfunctions of a Team" 
^ Mike Yaconelli, The Door 82 (December 1984/ 
January 1985). 



Dr. Tfiomas "Sam" Warren II is serving as director of nurture 
for Advent General Conference 



19 



Book Review 



Why Men Hate Going to 
Church 

By David Murrow 

(reviewed by ACGC Director of Nurture Dr Thomas "Sam" Warren II) 



Thirty-plus years of pastoral ministry will open your 
eyes to many things, some of which are significant. 
One such realization that has come my way during 
this journey is the fact that strong churches have strong men 
involved in the daily work of the church. 

In recent years there have been influences from the outside 
of the local church attempting to strengthen this part of the 
ministry such as Promise Keepers. I will never forget my ini- 
tial PK experience. Many of the men of our church attended 
with me and I thought, "This is great, the men are getting 
serious about the work of the Lordf Unfortunately, some of 
the hopes I had that day about men being involved in the 
ministry of the church quickly faded. 

As a result of this experience, I began to think carefully about 
the role of men in the life of the church. According to Scrip- 
ture, the emphasis upon men in the life and ministry of the 
church is impossible to miss. In a word, the importance of 
men in the life and ministry of the local church is mandated. 

As a result, I began to pray and seek God's will regarding how 
I approached the men of my local church. My desire was that 
men would find a place to worship, serve and lead in the life 
of the church like never before. Recently, I read a book that 
helped me understand the battle that I have been fighting 
over the past few years as I attempted to live out this man- 
date in the church. The book is titled, "Why Men Hate Going 
to Church." 

The title alone conjured up some interest on my part. The 
message of the book was thought- provoking and on target. 
There are many challenging and relevant thoughts generated 
by Murrow 's book, but allow me to isolate just one: the loss of 
the masculine spirit in the life of the church. Murrow says that 
the church of today has been shaped more by appealing to 
the feminine spirit than the masculine spirit. 

You may say, "So what?" This is exactly the question Murrow 
addresses in his book. He believes, as do I, that it does mat- 
Advent Christian Witness - May/June 2006 



ter. Many of the things that the church pushes as important 
in terms of identifying with the church and living out your 
faith are foreign to the everyday man and not very appealing. 

Men like competition, hard work and being outdoors, yet 
most churches try to get men to read, raise their hands in 
worship, go to Sunday school or sing in the choir. Is it pos- 
sible that we miss out on a tremendous opportunity to get 
men involved by avoiding the things they like to do and, 
more importantly, were created to do? 

For this reason, I changed my approach to dealing with men. 
The men I know are hard workers and have incredible gifted- 
ness and skill in their work and hobby world. I have chosen 
to focus on those things and have seen tremendously blessed 
results. Murrow 's book was very strategic in shaping and 
sharpening my focus. I heartily recommend it to you as you 
explore the ministry of men in the life of the local church. 

Murrow's book explores the findings of what biology, sociol- 
ogy, and psychology teach us about men, but the Bible also 
has a lot to say about the importance of men. lesus, by the 
way he related to the disciples, is the perfect example of how 
to work with men. They were "rough around the edges" but 
were used mightily by God. Someone once asked me, "Do 
you think the disciples and lesus sat around the campfire and 
sang songs?" I doubt it, but I do believe he spent an enor- 
mous amount of time out in the boat, which was the world 
they knew. 

Isn't it time to do the same? It is my belief that many men 
would become active in the life of the church if they knew 
that they were encouraged to serve him in the way a man 
thinks and behaves. Murrow's book can help you bring this 
about. Why not check it out?'!;' 

Available from Venture Bookstore! To 
order, call 1-800-676-0694, ext. 251 or email 
venture@acgc.us 



21 




cnptures 



Now and then, when a person questions 
whether government has the right to take 
a particular action, someone may respond 
by quoting Jesus' words in Mark 12:17 — 

"Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, 
and to God the things that are God's" (ESV). 

"Caesar" was the title for the Emperor of Rome at 
that time, and the Jewish nation was under Roman 
authority; so "Caesar" stands for governmental 
authority. No debate about that. However, some 
who glibly quote the verse imply that governmen- 
tal leaders should never be resisted, and they may 
suppose that life is neatly divided into a secular 
realm (ruled by government) and a sacred realm 
(ruled by God). Worse yet, in their minds, the sacred 
realm sometimes ends up including no more than 
the inner life of individual Christians, and a couple of 
hours on Sunday morning. 

Did Jesus really intend to teach that govern- 
ment has unlimited earthly authority and must 
always be obeyed? 

The context, Mark 12:13-17, describes how some 
of the Pharisees and Herodians sent messengers to 
trap Jesus with a question: "Is it lawful to pay taxes 




to Caesar, or not?" This should alert 

us to expect a very clever, and perhaps 

evasive, answer from Christ - one that would keep 

him out of their trap. 

If Jesus had answered, "Yes, it's okay to pay taxes to 
Caesar," he would have lost favor with many Jews 
who resented Rome and its demands. If he'd said, 
"No, God's law forbids it," he could get into seri- 
ous trouble with Roman authorities. Jesus turned 
the tables on his questioners by saying, "'Bring me 
a denarius and let me look at it.' And they brought 
one. And he said to them, 'Whose likeness and 
inscription is this?' They said to him, 'Caesar's'" 
(Mark 12:15b-16). 

A denarius was a Roman coin. On one side was an 
image of Caesar's head; on the other, a scene that 
celebrated his reign.' An inscription read, "Tiberi- 
us Caesar Augustus, Son of the Divine Augustus."^ 
To many Jews, this sounded blasphemous. 

When Jesus went on to compare the author- 
ity of Caesar with God's authority, he "protested 
against the false and idolatrous claims made on the 
coins."^ So, on one level, Jesus' response could be 
interpreted this way: "Since Caesar's image is on 
this coin, and you acknowledge his sovereignty by 



hings hard to understand, which untaught and unstable peo; 
twist to their own destruction" [2. Peter j,i6 NKJY) . 



22 



Advent Christian Witness - May/June 2006 



carrying it, you ought to give your master what he 
demands." 

On a more simpHstic level, people could have 
understood Jesus to mean, "Yes, Caesar is lord of 
the secular world, so pay your taxes; then, do your 
spiritual duties to God." Jesus avoided their trap by 
a statement that could be interpreted more than 
one way. 



land and its king, whom they perceived as acting 
against God's will and their best interests. It has 
led certain other Christians to refuse to use deadly 
force when their government wanted to send them 
to war, either because they thought a particular 
war was unjust, or that Christians should never 
kill. It has led other Christians to criticize, protest, 
or disobey certain laws they believed were im- 
moral. 



Actually, Christ's response was a kind of riddle: 
When you consider all that actually belongs to 
God, what exactly does belong to Caesar? Psalm 

24:1 says, "The earth is the LORD's and the fullness 
thereof, the world and those who dwell therein'.' Ev- 
erything and everyone belongs to God, including 
Caesar himself. God is Lord (owner and master) of 
all; no earthly government has any right to demand 
something of its citizens unless God says it has 
that right. Governing authorities are called to be 
God's servants, not secular gods (Romans 13:1-5). 
They're established to punish evildoers and protect 
those who do right. If a government protects evil- 
doers and punishes the righteous, it has morphed 
from being a minister of God into being a monster 
(cf. Revelation 13:1-10). 



Whether you or I agree with any of those particu- 
lar responses is not the point. Such people have, 
at least, understood that government does not 
have the right of total lordship over the lives of its 
citizens. Those who unwittingly twist Jesus' words 
in Mark 12:17 may be satisfied to justify doing 
whatever their government demands. Wise and 
faithful Christian disciples will never be satisfied 
with that.^ 



1 Reformation Study Bible, p. 1439, note on 12:15. 

2 Concordia Self-Study Bible, p. 1481, note on Matthew 
22:19. 

3 Ibid., p.1482, note on Matthew 22:21. 



Certainly a government may legitimately ask for 
a reasonable amount of taxes from the citizens 
who benefit from its services (Romans 13:6-7), 
and there are other lawful claims that God allows 
a government to make, such as calling for obedi- 
ence to laws that have a general moral basis; but if 
governing authorities make tyrannical claims and 
oppose God's will, they must be resisted (cf. Acts 
4:18-20; 5:27-29). 

This is part of the reasoning that led some Ameri- 
can colonists to declare independence from Eng- 



Pastor Tom Warner serves with Ministry To The Aged 
in retirement centers and nursing homes in Boise and 
Meridian, Idaho. 




Advent Christian Witness - May/June 2006 



/A WORD FROM 
»OUR PRESIDENT 



Advent Christian 

General Conference 

Interim President 

Rev. Brent Ross 



The God of the Bush 



^1 f here I was, sitting in a room of my peers, when I learned 
i I that I had been appointed to become the Interim Presi- 
1 JL. dent of The Advent Christian General Conference of 
^merica. As I drove back home to Georgia on that Saturday 
Lfternoon in February, I was flooded with many emotions, one 
|)f them being, "Brent, what have you gotten yourself into?" I 
lielt honored, inadequate, stunned and excited. I'm thankful to 
fee a part of the team and very excited about what God is doing 
Fthrough the Advent Christian Church around the world. Even as 
I write today, plans are underway to plant new churches in many 
countries. Today several people will become part of the family 
^f God because of Advent Christians like you who are carrying 
out the Great Commission. 

On my drive back to Georgia, I reflected on the first sermon 
that I ever preached. The tide was "Any Old Bush Will Do." The 
j|ext was from Exodus chapter 3. It is the story of Moses at the 
feurning bush. This is a story you've probably heard many times 
||)efore. Moses saw a bush in a desert that did not burn up. It 
^as an unusual sight, because there was a fire and no smoke, j 
my Moses decided to take a closer look, and when he did, God | 
spoke to him. God called his name, and Moses said, "Here I am.! 
^t is always a good idea to respond that way when God speaks t(^ 
won. I know that with my new responsibility God has called mejl 
|)ut of my comfort zone. Yet I know that if God called me to it, % 
lie will bring me through it! God told Moses that he was on holyl 
fcround — not because of the bush, but because of the fact that 
feod was there. At the burning bush God reminded Moses that 
IGod was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Isn't it comfort- J 
Ing to know that God hasn't changed? The God of our forefa- | 
ithers is our God today. 

feod said to Moses, "I have seen the misery and suffering of my | 
people, and I have come down to rescue them and to bring therri 
into a land of blessing, a land flowing with milk and honey." I re J 
felly believe that there is hope for the Advent Christian denomiM 



! 



nation. There are some churches that may feel that 
they are in a desert place right now. I want you to 
know that God cares about what you are going 
through, and he is able to turn things around and 
bring you to a better place. Many of our churches! 
in the United States and in countries around the 
world are seeing that very thing and are reaping 
the harvest. We are seeing God do miracles. Our 
God is an awesome God. 

As Moses stood at the burning bush and heard th^ 
good news that God was going to do something 
good for his people, God had something else to 
say to Moses. "Oh, by the way, Moses, I'm going 
to use you to deliver my people." Moses' response.; 
was to ask, "Who am I?" It was a great question. 
The answer could have been that Moses was one 
of the most educated men of his day. It also could 
have been that Moses was a murderer who didn't 
speak very well. God's message to Moses that day 
was this: "It's not about you. You thought there 
was something special about this bush, but it's not 
about the bush; it's about the God of the bush." 
iod is the reason this bush didn't burn up. He 
bould have chosen any old bush. It's not about our 
jreat abilities; it's about our availability to let God 
>e God. ^ 

lis has been a liberating message for me. I am 
ist a sinner saved by grace. I approach this new 
Responsibility with a great awareness that on my 
)wn I am inadequate for this task, yet I have the 
)eace of knowing that my adequacy comes from 
Christ. "I can do all things through him who gives t 
le strength." I covet your prayers that God would 
lold me into the leader he desires me to be. I'm 
|eady to serve! If I can help you in any way, please 
;el free to call me. 

)h, by the way, are you ready to let God use you? 

/ill you say, "Here I am; use me?" It is not about 
fou or your abilities; it is about making yourself 
pailable to let God use you for his glory. May Goc 
bless you richly! f" 



(Editorial continued) 

the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, 
and over the cattle, and over every creeping 
thing that creepeth upon the earth.' So God 
created man in his own image, in the image of 
God created he him; male and female created 
he them" (Genesis 1:26-27, KJV). 

This tells us several important things about 
being a "man": 

1. Man is "made in the image of God" (cf. 1 
Corinthians 11:7). An image shares at least 
some characteristics of what it images. To be a 
man, therefore, is to be like God in some way. 
These verses explain in what ways we're some- 
what like God. 

2. "Let us make man ... let them have ..." (v. 
26). It was not God's intention for any man to 
"be a man" all by himself. God intended for 
him to "be a man" in the context of relation- 
ships — relationships with God, with other 
humans, and with the animals God created. 

3. "... after our likeness ... dominion ..." (v. 26). 
Here's one way man is "somewhat like God": 
God is Ruler of the universe, and man is ruler 
of the earth. To "be a man" is to have delegat- 
ed authority, like an Army General who has 
officers and soldiers under his command, but 
who must always report to the Commander- 
in-Chief. 

4. "... male and female ..." (v. 27). Genesis 2 
emphasizes how "being a man" is too big a job 
to accomplish without a "helper." That helper 
(woman) was just as much "man" (in the ge- 
neric sense) as the man himself! ("God created 
man ... male and female ...") I could never "be 
the man" I am today without the help of the 
wonderful balancing counterpart God created 
for me — my wife. 

In this issue of the Witness, we'll explore sev- 
eral ramifications of the theme, "Masculine 
Christianity." Be a man! Sit down and read 
these articles!^}' 



25 



Color in each 
area marked 
with an "y! 




Cross out all words that are: 

(1). Emotions; (2). Action words; (3). Colors; (4). Animals; 
(5). Beginning with "w" 

Then read the remaining words from left to right 



sad 


worried 


cow 


Children 


blue 


horse 


dog 


are 


a 


treasure 


white 


brown 


yellow 


jump 


from 


walk 


the 


happy 


win 


was 


Lord 




26 



Advent Christian Witness - March/ April 2006 



.Except ye become P.T- ffi ifc CfjffrJrCf), ye shad not 
enter into the kingdom of heaven." 




Word Search — Words from Proverbs 31:10-31 NIV 
(Wife of noble character) 



Cross out these words 



beauty 


household 


blessed 


noble 


charm 


portions 


children 


praises 


clothed 


provides 


considers 


reward 


dignity 


rubles 


faithful 


strength 


fears 


wisdom 


good 


works 



R P O 

S O R 
PRE 

L T B 

U I H O 

F O L T 

H N Y A 

T S M O 



I L N C 
AWT L 

F E OW 

A S C R 

P I E Y 

G L wo 

Y T U A 

I P R O 



G H 
T I 
S W 
I N 
U S 
N L 
B M 
D S 
WG 
U P 



L 
G 
R 
E 
H 
T 
S 

I wu 

GOD 
N S I 
ARM 
I H F 
L WR 
M S T 
L U P 
D E S 



S 
D 
E 
C 

L D 
O V 
T F 



S E 

I R 

M U 

G B 

D I 

E 

S 

O 

V 

A 



D C 

U O 

S G 

L K 

N S 
WR 

P E 



H L 
E B 
D K 
B W I 
E M A 
H G T 
REN 
F E A 
ALT 



E W 



H N 



To complete this Bible verse, fill in the blanks 
with the correct vowels 

H_w gr^_t .s th^ l_v_ th_ F_th_r h_s 
l_v_sh_d _n _s, th_t w_ sh__ld b_ 
c_M_d ch_ldr_ii _f G_d! ijohn3:i 



Advent Christian Witness - March/ April 2006 



27 



What 
jpr you need 

to know 
about the inner 
lives of men 




Find out 
in Shaunti 
Feldhahn's 
new book 
entitled 

'Tor 
Women 



Advent Christian Witness - May/June 2UU6 



G©©^ 



uu 






by Pam Buchanan 



It's funny how things can work in tandem 
Last summer at a family camp, a pas 
tor friend recommended a bool< 
that he thought would be helpful in 
my new work with Advent Chris- 
tian Women's Ministries. A few 
days later, upon returning home 
from camp, I received a brochure 
in the mail from a neighboring 
church. The women of that congre- 
gation were hosting a day-event at a lo- 
cal hotel conference room, and the speaker 
was advertised to be Shaunti Feldhahn. I 
recognized the name as that of the author of 
the book recommended by my pastor friend, 
so I registered to attend the conference. 



Full of enthusiasm, Shaunti presented herself 
that day in new clothes (the airline had lost her 
luggage), and she made some new observations 
about the inner workings of the men in our lives 
(boyfriends, husbands, sons, etc.). During 
■HJI^ the day, I learned that Shaunti wore many 
PIW!^. hats: best-selling author, nationally- 
syndicated newspaper columnist, 
business and marketing consul- 
tant, public speaker, wife and 
mother. She graduated 

Advent Christian Witness - May/June 2006 




...she 

was clueless 

as to what 

Doug was 




from The College of William and Mary (Virgin- 
ia) with a Bachelor's degree in Government 
and Economics, and she holds a Master's 
degree from Harvard University in Pub- 
lic Policy. Her work experience in- 
cludes Wall Street and Capitol Hill. 
Shaunti came to know Christ as 
her King during her college years 
and believes it is her mission to equip 
Christians for ministry to a lost and 
hurting world. As she worked to fulfill 
her mission, I was privileged to hear her 
in person last fall. 



The subject of the afternoon was her newest book 
entitled "For Women Only" and subtitled "What 
you need to know about the inner lives of men." 
I was very intrigued with the circumstances sur- 
rounding the "birth" of this book. She related the 
story of being in the process of writing her second 
novel ("The Lights of Tenth Street") and feeling 
the need to do a little research. The contempo- 
rary story line looks at the challenges of our 
sexualized society and attempts to give hope 
and insight to men and women who feel 
trapped and to offer them strength in 
their struggles. The name given to 
her main character was "Doug." 
As she was writing this novel, 
she reported having no 



29 




problem recording what 
Doug was doing , but she 
realized that she was clueless 

ras to what Doug was thinking , so 
she decided to do a little "digging." 
She approached several men in her life 
at home, at work, at church, etc. - with 
a page or two of her rough draft for this story 
and these instructions: read the pages describ- 
ing Doug's actions and explain to her what Doug 
was thinking. The results were eye-opening, and 
she was so fascinated that she became somewhat 
addicted to the research. She expanded her inter- 
views, which eventually led her to hire a profes- 
sional company to survey men from all over the 
country and every walk of life and nationality. 

The results from the professionals, although more 
extensive and calculating, were astoundingly in 
agreement with her limited, personal surveys. 
Shaunti went on to complete her novel (which was 
released in 2003), and in the process she felt that 
she had gained so much new insight into the way 
men think and feel that she desired to compile that 
research into book form to be shared with other 
females like herself. 

This book, "For Women Only," is a result of the 
many surveys, conversations and interviews, and 
it includes chapters on the seven basic revelations 
Shaunti discovered, such as the importance of 
respect, the feeling of being vulnerable, the bur- 
den to provide, his visual rolodex, basic fears, his 
spouse's appearance and (of course) a chapter on 
the importance of intimate times with his wife. 

Shaunti was very personal and entertaining as she 
shared with us that afternoon, and her enthusiasm 
for the subject was contagious. I was immediately 
■:, hooked and wanted to read more, and as I did 
1^^ I was amazed at the depth of research and 
^^^^ the deeper insights it provided. Even 
^^^^^ though 1 have been married for 25 

years and have a 20-year-old son, I 
came away from this read with 
some valuable "aha's!" Every 




woman has surely been 
dumbfounded by something 
the man in her life has said or 
done (I know I have!) and has prob- 
ably walked away shaking her head 
and wondering what prompted that reac- 
tion. This book addresses some of those per- 
plexities, revealing things he wishes she knew 
but doesn't know how to tell her or things that he 
is shocked to discover she doesn't already know! 

For instance, I was particularly interested in the 
research concerning a man's "romantic side." I 
learned that men, in general, really do desire to 
be spontaneous, to plan a surprise and connect 
with their mate, but there is a silent fear that they 
won't do a very good job (like they think the female 
would). My eyes were opened to the self-doubt 
and fear of humiliation that could be hampering 
their launch into creativity. If they should ever give 
it a try and walked away feeling as if they did not 
quite measure up, they probably would just "aim 
low" and "play it safe" the next time. On the other 
hand, if they were really successful and pulled off 
a real winner of a romantic evening and felt much 
rewarded, they then might entertain the fear of 
never being able to duplicate or "top" that one so 
they just shut down. As I pondered this, I began to 
realize just how important my actions and words 
of encouragement would mean in either scenario. 

This is just one example among many of the real 
eye-openers I gained from my afternoon with 
Shaunti. In the very last chapter, Shaunti reveals 
the number one answer men gave to the question, 

"What is the one thing that you wish your wife (or 
significant other) knew, but you feel you can't ex- 
plain to her or tell her? 

By far, the top response ^^ 
was . . . ''How much I love .^^^^. 
her!" 



30 



(Did I just hear a collective 
sigh?) 
Advent Christian Witness - May/June 2006 




Ladies, that should be 
enough motivation for each of 
us to continue seeking to better 
appreciate, understand and sup- 
port her man in the way that he needs. 
God definitely made us different, but that 
is what keeps things interesting. Your chal- 
lenge is to strive to provide the encouragement 
he needs as he becomes all God intends for him to 
be. 

You have heard it said that "behind every good 
man is a great woman." In response to this state- 
ment, Shaunti recorded one anonymous man's 
comment: 

"There are a lot of men out there who are mediocre, 
simply because their wives will not support them 
and bring them to greatness. And there are a lot of 
mediocre men who are destined to become great 
men — who are becoming great men — because 
their wives love and support them. My wife expects 
great things from me, even though I am a pretty or- 
dinary guy really. She looks at me like I am a genius 
in my field. She respects me in public and affirms 
me in private. I love her. And like all men, I want to 
live up to her expectations" 

In the movie "The Natural" an amazing baseball 
talent (played by Robert Redford ... do I hear an- 
other collective sigh?) finally breaks into the major 
leagues and is very successful. When a slump hits, 
he begins to doubt the game and himself. One 
of the most dramatic scenes in the movie occurs 
when Redford, mired in self-pity and doubt, steps 
up to the plate as the crowd taunts him. In the 
midst of all the booing and yeUing, an old girl- 
friend, who is in the stand, rises to her feet to sup- 
port him. It was an extremely simple action, yet 
^ it profoundly affected Redford. We know this 
■j^ because he responded by hitting a home 
^^^^ run, and his confidence was restored. 

Of course men would love that 
scene! Did you notice that she 




didn't scream directions 
from her seat? She didn't 
march down to the field and pro- 
ceed to tell him what he was doing 
wrong. She just stood in silent support 
affirming her belief in him, and that is 
exactly what he needed to knock it out of the 
park! 

So it is in life, and may we commit ourselves col- 
lectively to go forth in our quest to truly under- 
stand the men in our lives. And on that note, I 
close ... Shall we all rise?"^ 



1 


H^HFi 


1 


umiiiii 1 


for women on y 


.vhar yoii need to know about the inner ii .ec of mrr 

"What an important book!" ^^H 



Shaunti Feldhahn is a bestselling author, nationally syndi- 
cated newspaper columnist, and public speaker She holds 
a master's degree in public policy from Harvard University 
and has worked on Wall Street and Capitol Hill. Shaunti 
is a weekly columnist on women's issues and current events 
for the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution" Shaunti and her 
husband, Jeff, are active leaders in their church, leading 
a hope group that encourages married couples toward 
greater intimacy with God and each other. 



Order your copy of "For 
Women Only" from the 
Venture Bookstore at 
1-800-676-0694 



Advent Christian Witness - May/June 2006 



31 



^^s?u»- 



-^Al^^-J. ^«> 



3iil^eBoobtore 



ii"lP^V!.■(uY/^f\, 



W*^ 



From This 

to 




^i-km 




Venture Bookstore has improved! In order to 
better serve our customers, we have renovated 
our store in Charlotte, N.C. Through a gener- 
ous gift given anonymously, a portion of the 
national office building has been transformed into retail space. The new facility features popular Christian 
titles, children's and women's books. Bibles and Advent Christian works. 

Venture Bookstore also has a new website (www.venturebookstore.com). Remember, all profit from 
Venture Bookstore supports Advent Christian ministries. Anyone buying from us not only purchases 
quality material but also helps equip God's people in Advent Christian ministries around the world. 



Periodicals Postage Paid 

1 -3-2 

00004343 12/2006 

UNC Chape) Hill Library 

Serials Dept 

CB# 3938 Davis Library 

Chapel Hill NC 27514 



#007-740 



l,.l.ll...i.l.l....ll.l..l...lll 



Advent Christian 



July/August 2006 






Witness 



Volume 54, Issue 4 

www.adventchristian.org 

1-800-676-0694 



Managing Editor 
Keith Wheaton 

Editor 
John Roller 

Assistant 
Jan Thomas 

Contributing Editor 
Tom Warner 

Proofreader 
Kathy Wheaton 

Women s Ministry Editor 
Pam Buchanan 



Advent Christian 
General Conference 



Ron Thomas Executive Director 

ExecDirect@acgc. us 
Nancy Brooks Administrative Assistant 

nbrooks@acgc. us 

COMMUNICATIONS 

Keith Wheaton Communications Director 

kwheaton@acgc. us 
Helen Hagler Production & Distribution 

hliagler@acgc. us 
Donna Martin Sales & Distribution 

dmartin@acgc. us 
Tina Pressley Bookstore Sales Manager 

tpressley@acgc. us 
John Roller Publications Coordinator 

jroller@acgc. us 
Dawn Russell Bookstore Sales Assoc. 

drussell@acgc. us 
Jan Thomas Administrative Assistant 

jthomas@acgc. us 



International Missionaries 



NURTURE 



Sam Warren 
Pam Buchanan 



Nurture Director 

ren(a),acgc.us 

Women's Ministries 
Coordinator 
phuclianan(a),acgc. us 
Mary Ritchie Administrative Assistant 

mnlchie@acgc. us 

OPERATIONS 

Richard Russell Operations Director 

rrussell@acgc. us 

Finance Assistant 

sefird@acgc. us 

Controller 

drutan(a),acgc.us 

OUTREACH 

Tim Fox Outreach Director 

tfox@acgc. us 
Julia Brock Administrative Assistant 

jhrock(aiacgc.us 



Shirley Efird 
Dawn Rutan 



Area Directors: 

Scott Dombrosky— Latin 

America/Short-Term Missions 
sdombrosky@comcast. net 

John Gilbert — Team Leader 

)ohn@99plusl.org 

Russell Carle— Europe/ Africa 
rkcarle@mfx.net 

Clio Thomas— Asia/Pacific 
cliowestva@msn.com 



Philippines 
Grant Aldridge 

P.O. Box 223 

9000 Cagayan de Oro 

Philippines 

aldridge@home.philcom.ph 

JeflF and Rhonda Walsh 

RO. Box 223 

9000 Cagayan de Oro 

Philippines 

rjbiwalsh2@juno.com 

JetF and Penny Vann 
(Connie & Naomi) 

P.O. Box 223 
9000 Cagayan de Oro 
Philippines 
]effvann@ acgc.us 



National Missionaries 



India 

Earl and Martha Wright 

PO. Box 3164 

Guindy Chennai 600 032 

wright@md3. vsnl. net. in 

Ernie Schache 

PO. Box 3164 

Guindy, Chennai 600 032 

ernieschache@vsnl.net 



China 

Please send correspondence 
through the missions office: 
c/o Dept. of World Outreach 
Croatia 

Desire Ahola 
Democratic Republic of Cong o 

Bertin Ngoy Nshimbi Mwanya 
Ghana 

Simon Bissah 
India 

Jeeva Kiruban 



Julius Cesar Equipado 
Kenya 

Simeon Rianga 
Liberia 

Abraham David 
Malawi /Mozambique 

Paul Sosono 
Malaysia 

Victor Devadason 

James Devadasson 

Ruth Devairaklcam 



Memphis 

Francis Ssebikindu 
Mexico 

John Gilbert 

Martin Camacho Valdez 

Samuel Avalos - Madrigal 

Miguel Mena Arrellano 

Leon Merita Maldonado 
Myanmar 

Timothy Kham Mang 

Joseph Thau Thau 

Hung Ling 

Martin Lalthangliana 

Kenneth Ngan Herhling 
Ram Khaw Lian 
Namibia 

Usiel Tjiho 
New Zealand 

David Burge 
Ni geria 

Christian Paul 
South Africa 

Nathan Fernando Kilima 



Ailwiil Chiisiiciii WiiiK'.'is (ISSN #0741-43(12) is published bimonthly by the Advent Christian General Confcrenee of 
America, 1 460 1 Albemarle Rd.. P.O. Box 23152, Charlotte. NC 28227. Subscription rates in the United States and Canada: 
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As the official publication of the Advent Christian General Conference, the Advent Christian Witness publishes the 
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world. The views expressed in this inagazine are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those of the editor or 
the Advent Christian General Conference. Member: Evangelical Press Association. Copyright C 2006. 

Advent Christian Witness - July/ August 2006 



From the Editor 

1 



Contents 




Even before I became a pastor, I wanted to be a 
church planter. Once, while in college, I spent 
a weekend helping an evangelistic team minis- 
ter on another college campus. After a "rally" on Sat- 
urday night, there was a "worship service" on Sunday 
morning, attended only by the team and four college 
students. My heart went out to those students. I "had 
it made" at a small Christian college where there 
were several hundred fellow believers. But the four 
Christian students at this state university didn't know 
any other Christians. I wanted to drop out of school 
that very day, move into the basement of their dorm, 
and start a church for them in the student union 
building. I would have done it if I could have figured 
out how to make a living. 

Later, while working full-time for the same evange- 
listic team, I spent a Sunday evening preaching at a 
little church building near where I lived. There wasn't 
actually a congregation; the service was a "set-up" 
because the property would revert to previous own- 
ers if the group that owned it didn't hold at least one 
service there each year. I had been asked to hold that 
service on the day the rest of the United States was 
celebrating its Bicentennial. Again I felt the urge to 
quit my job and devote my time to planting a "real" 
church in that place. But I didn't do it. 

(Editorial continued on page 23) 
Advent Christian Witness - July/ August 2006 



Editorial 3 

Dr. John Roller 

Our Youngest Church: 4 

An Interview with Rev. Adrian Dixon 

Dr. John Roller 



What Is a House Church? 

Rev. Chad Irving 

The Good Life 

Dr. William H. Chadwick 

Church Planting 

Timothy Dodd 



8 



10 



13 



Overcoming The Crisis-Driven 14 

Church Part 4 

Dr. Thomas S. Warren II 

The Tiguahanon Tribe 20 

Kimon and Chin Lee Nicolaides 

A Word From Our President 24 

Rev. Brent Ross 

Twisted Scriptures 25 

Rev. Tom Warner 

As Children 26 

Dawn Russell 

Volunteer Warfare 28 

Dustin Buchanan 

Looking Back to See God ... 30 

Looking Ahead To Serve 

Libby Houck 



OUR YOUNGEST 

l^TTl TT^ C^TTn An Interview with 
wXx lJ[J[vl^xx# Rev. Adrian Dixon 



by Dr. John Roller 





t took me almost three hours 
to get from my driveway to 
the church parking lot Sunday 
morning (April 30), but it was 
well worth it. 



The church I was planning to attend is tied with an- 
other church for the honor of being the "youngest" 
fully recognized church in the Advent Christian 
denomination. It had "upgraded" from "mission" 
status to full membership in the Advent Christian 
Conference of Eastern North Carolina two months 
earlier on Saturday, February 25. 



The facility didn't look like much from the outside 
— just a simple sign reading "Northside Community 
Church" over the entrance to one of several suites 
in a smaller-than-average strip mall in a suburb of 
Raleigh, N.C. 

Once inside, I was immediately greeted by a woman 
who seemed excited about being there and who 
wanted to tell me everything a visitor could possibly 
want to know. She either already knew who I was, or 
it didn't matter to her — she never did get around to 
asking me my name! What was more important was 
to make me feel welcome, and I was already starting 
to, even though I only knew one other member of 

Advent Christian Witness - July/ August 2006 



the church. That, of course, was the pastor, Rev. 
Adrian Dixon: the man I had come to interview 
for this article. 

"He's one of the greatest preachers we've ever 
experienced, and we've been around for a while," 
said a middle-aged couple as the service was let- 
ting out, an hour and a half later. 

"I've known Adrian ever since the day he came 
home from the hospital," said another gentleman 
leaning into the microphone of my pocket tape 
recorder. "He is more concerned about people's 
spiritual lives than about building 
numbers for the church. Adrian 
reaches out to individuals — wheth- 
er you come to this church or not, he 
cares about you." 



Tohn Roller: "What got you interested in the idea 
of starting a new church?" 

Adrian Dixon: "Dwight Carpenter mentioned 
it to me in 1999. He asked me if I'd ever thought 
of church planting. Up until then, I hadn't, but 
about eight months later, my roommate in col- 
lege came back from a convention he'd gone to, 
and he was really excited about church planting. 
I began to think maybe God wanted me to go in 
that direction." 



"Obviously," I thought, "he's taught 
these friends of his to be that way as 
well." 



"...I have felt more 
welcome at this 
church than any 
church I have ever 
been to in mv Ufe." 



TR: "How did you pick this par- 
ticular community (Knightdale, 
N.C.)?" 



"How did you get interested in coming to this 
church?" I asked a couple in their late twenties. 
"We came for the 'Forty Days of Purpose' pro- 
gram," they replied. "That was the first time we'd 
been here, and we've just kept coming back." 

A young man with a limp approached me and 
stated, "I moved here five months ago from 
Kentucky, and I have felt more welcome at this 
church than any church I have ever been to in my 
life." 

"Doesn't anybody want to tell me what 'the 
problem with this church is'?" I wondered. I've 
been to too many struggling churches in the last 
several years, I guess. I never did get anybody 
to tell me that. There was a 2-year-old who was 
bawling her head off, but when I asked her what 
was wrong with the church, she instantly stopped 
crying and just stared at me with her mouth 
hanging open in mid-cry. 



AD: "We looked at several diff^er- 
ent places — Greensboro, Wilson, 
Raleigh, Knightdale. Originally 
we were going to go with